Alcon, Inc. reported that global sales rose 14.5 percent to $1.72 billion for the fourth quarter of 2009, or an 8.5 percent increase excluding the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations. Reported net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009 grew 8.0 percent to $458 million, or $1.51 per diluted share. Non-GAAP adjusted net earnings would have grown 15.1 percent to $488 million, or $1.61 per diluted share, compared to net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2008. Adjusted net earnings in the fourth quarter of 2009 exclude a $30 million tax provision related to a potential retroactive change in tax law regarding the deductibility of foreign currency losses that was not included in the company's 2009 guidance.
For the full year 2009, Alcon, Inc. reported global sales of $6.50 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent over 2008 global sales of $6.29 billion, or 6.3 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations. Net earnings for 2009 declined 2.0 percent to $2.01 billion, or $6.66 per share on a diluted basis. Non-GAAP adjusted net earnings for 2009 would have risen 13.3 percent to $2.05 billion, or $6.81 per diluted share compared to adjusted net earnings in 2008, which included the impact of a $236 million tax benefit. Adjusted net earnings in 2009 exclude $19 million of pre-tax costs related to a reduction in force and $30 million related to the aforementioned tax provision.
"Our results in the fourth quarter clearly show improving dynamics in the eye care market and positive momentum in Alcon's key brands that supported solid organic sales growth in the quarter," said Kevin Buehler, Alcon's president and chief executive officer. "We built momentum throughout the year to deliver on the Alcon business model of sustainable organic growth, global market share gains and core margin improvement. While selected market challenges remain, these encouraging trends and the long-term strategic drivers of our business position Alcon well to deliver sustainable growth."
Buehler added, "In response to an unprecedented economic environment, we took management actions early in the year to align spending to strategic priorities. These actions allowed us to achieve solid financial results while bolstering our commercial presence in emerging markets like China and India and enhancing our research capabilities through the ESBATech and AstraZeneca transactions."
About Alcon Inc.
Alcon, Inc. is the world's leading eye care company, with sales of $6.5 billion in 2009. Alcon, which has been dedicated to the ophthalmic industry for 65 years, researches, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment and devices, contact lens care solutions and other vision care products that treat diseases, disorders and other conditions of the eye. All trademarks noted in this release are the property of Alcon, Inc.
For more information, visit http://www.alcon.com