• Morningstar
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology

    Novartis reports that third quarter profits fell 42% due largely to weak performance by its eye care division, Alcon.

    Novartis Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez said Alcon dragged down the Swiss-based pharmaceutical company's profits due to struggles with generic competition, lagging sales of surgical equipment and a lack of innovation.

    Alcon is facing increased competition for its surgical products and the entry of cheaper generics on a number of its drugs. Net sales at Alcon were $2.3 billion and core operating income was $703 million, down 2% and 12% in constant currencies. Analysts had expected core net income of $3.2 billion for the third quarter, and sales of $12.7 billion.

    Novartis' top selling eye drug, Lucentis, has faced strong generic competition from Roche’s Avastin. Lucentis’ sales in the recent quarter are expected to stand at $526.9 million, which would represent a strong fall of 14.19% compared to sales of $614 million reported from the same period last year.

    A revamp program is scheduled to be unveiled in January.