Swiss eyecare company Alcon posts another loss, announces revamp


ZURICH, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Swiss-listed eyecare company Alcon ALCC.S reported another quarterly loss, specified its profit outlook, boosted projections for the cost of its spinoff from Novartis NOVN.S and announced a $300 million restructuring program.

The third-quarter net loss was $66 million, down from $207 million in the period in 2018, the maker of intraocular lenses and eye drops said late on Tuesday. Sales rose 4%, or 6% at constant exchange rates, to $1.84 billion.

The company now expects a core operating margin of 17-17.5% for 2019, compared with 17-18% previously and tweaked its sales goal to 4-5% growth, from 3-5%. Alcon increased its expected separation costs from Novartis to $500 million, from $300 million, due to work on IT systems, among other things.

Alcon said it has identified significant efficiencies to be achieved via an organisational realignment, creation of global shared services and process improvements. It expects this restructuring program to cost $300 million and produce savings of $200 to $225 million annually by 2023, the proceeds of which will go to research and marketing, Alcon said.

"Our momentum is strong as an independent company," Chief Executive David Endicott said. "We're going to build on this success by proactively implementing a multi-year transformation program."

(Reporting by John Miller Editing by Michelle Martin)

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