With its proposed spinoff from Novartis just months away, Alcon executives said they will focus on an aging population and the myopia epidemic to drive growth.
Alcon executives held a Capital Markets Day for investors and analysts on Tuesday to provide an update on the spinoff and highlight trends shaping the future of eye care. During the 4-hour event in New York, Alcon leaders outlined several factors they believe will contribute to the future of growth of the company.
“What you see is, certainly in the western markets, we have an aging population that is coming in to that cataract age. So the number of people over the age 60 who will become cataract eligible, in essence, is more than a billion people in the very near term,” David Endicott, chief executive officer of Alcon, said during the investor conference. “On the other end of the spectrum, you have the Asian markets and the eastern markets where you see a lot of opportunity as the population grows for our contact lens business. We think there’s a tremendous opportunity in vision care for that kind of a population who need refraction.”
Mr. Endicott emphasized the prevalence of myopia and digital eye strain as a particular area of growth in the $23 billion eye care devices market.
“There is a growing epidemic, and indeed it is an epidemic, of myopia from young kids who are no longer necessary outside playing and exercising distance vision,” Mr. Endicott said. “Rather, everybody is picking up their phone, picking up their iPad, and that is causing a slowing of the eye development. That is an epidemic that is going on and it’s real.”
Novartis is preparing to complete the spinoff of Alcon in the first half of 2019. Alcon will be headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with shares listed in both Switzerland and the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “ALC”. Novartis officials said Alcon could be valued between $20 billion and $30 billion when it is spun off.
To access the webcast of the Capital Markets Day, click here.