Alcon reports third-quarter eye care sales increase

HUNENBERG, Switzerland Alcon Thursday morning reported an increase in consumer eye care sales of 10.5 percent to $223.7 million for its third quarter ended Sept. 30. Sales of contact lens disinfectants grew 2.6 percent, as Opti-Free RepleniSH and Opti-Free Express multipurpose disinfecting solutions continued to maintain their combined market share in the United States.

Alcon currently fields a 38.7 percent market share of the U.S. contact lens care license market, the company reported, remaining the only branded marketer to own a greater market share than private label alternatives and exceeding market share of competitors Bausch & Lomb and AMO, which together possess less than 25 percent market share. “We gained significant market share on a global basis as a result of the product recalls by competitors in 2006 and 2007,” commented Cary Rayment, Alcon chairman, president and chief executive officer during a conference call with analysts. “We have been able to maintain the share we gained in the past two years,” he said.

“We are the only brand that exceeds private label in the U.S.,” he added. “We believe this is a result of our success in communicating the efficacy and safety of the Opti-Free RepleniSH brand to the professional channel where we get about seven out of 10 recommendations from optometrists in the U.S.”

Sales of artificial tears products increased 28 percent, led by increases in the global sales of Systane lubricant eye drops and the U.S. launch of Systane Ultra in July. “Quarterly sales have almost tripled in the last five years, reflecting increased market demand and market share gains in this segment,” Rayment said.

Alcon reported global sales of $1.5 billion for the third quarter, an increase of 14.1 percent.

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