August 21, 2019 / 5:09 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Eye care company Alcon posts $390 mln Q2 loss as taxes bite

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ZURICH, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Alcon posted a second-quarter loss as the Swiss-listed eye care company paid more in taxes, amortised intangible assets and took charges linked to its spin-off from former parent Novartis.

The company on Tuesday reported a net loss of $390 million, or 80 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30, compared with net income of $15 million, or 3 cents per share, in the previous year.

Net sales rose 2% to $1.86 billion, in line with the $1.87 billion estimate in a Refinitiv poll.

Alcon confirmed its full-year guidance for 3-5% revenue growth, based on constant currency rates, and expects a core operating margin of 17-18%.

Alcon had a $294 million second-quarter tax bill, up from just $9 million in the year-earlier period, after Swiss voters approved tax reforms on June 30, forcing it to re-evaluate deferred tax assets and liabilities in its home country.

The results were also dragged down by $258 million from amortisation of intangible assets and a $78 million bill from its separation from Novartis.

Alcon struggled for years with moribund sales that required significant investments by Novartis to arrest the declines. Following the spin-off in April, Alcon is now trying to buttress its position as the biggest ophthalmic surgery device maker and No. 2 maker of contact lenses and solutions behind Johnson & Johnson. (Reporting by John Miller in Zurich and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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