May 16, 2019 / 4:53 AM / 2 months ago

Spun-off Alcon gives first full-year guidance as it posts flat sales

BERLIN, May 16 (Reuters) - Swiss-listed eye care company Alcon on Thursday gave its first full-year outlook for 2019 as a standalone company, saying it expected 3 to 5% net sales growth if exchange rates remained constant, with a 17 to 18% core margin.

Sales in the first quarter were flat at $1.8 billion when compared with the previous year, but up 4% on a constant currency basis.

Alcon posted an operating loss of $48 million, blaming this on spin-off costs, software implementation and research and development expenses.

Alcon, which through its spin-off from Novartis and initial public offering in April became a company valued at $30 billion in market capitalisation, wrestled with flagging sales as a unit of the Swiss pharma giant. (Reporting by Tassilo Hummel Editing by Michelle Martin)

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