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Novartis announced the companies plan to boost growth at Alcon, the company’s vision care division.
In a Jan. 27, 2016 press release, Swiss pharmaceutical company, Novartis, announced intent to restructure Alcon, Novartis’ vision care division.
Alcon suffered in 2015, with net sales of $2.3 billion, down 13% in the fourth quarter. In response to this loss, Novartis announced the company’s plan to move Alcon to the Pharmaceuticals Division, and appoint Mike Ball as division head and chief executive officer (CEO), effective Feb. 1, 2016. Ball is a former CEO of Hospira and spent 16 years at Allergan. He succeeds former Alcon CEO Jeff George, who is leaving the company.
The company says they will simplify the ophthalmology business in 2016. In a statement Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, said the company plans to “return the Alcon business to growth.”
In an interview with CNBC, Jimenez said that it may take time for the company to improve Alcon’s position. “The specific growth plan on Alcon is that we’re going to focus the business on that core surgical and cataract surgery business,” said Jimenez. “By focusing, we’re going to strengthen the base and what that means is really increasing our investment against the customer, the physician.”
Jimenez told CNBC the company plans on investing for growth in the upcoming year. “We don’t expect it to be a quick fix,” he continued. “And it’s probably going to take us until mid-year before we start to see a turn on that business but we expect to exit the fourth quarter with low to mid-single digit sales growth.”