Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis will move toward making a decision on the fate of Alcon — its eye care business — in the first half of 2019, its chief executive officer reiterated on Sunday.
"With Alcon ... we look forward to taking a potential action, moving toward a potential decision in the first half of 2019. And that's still the timeline that we will maintain and no change on that," Vasant Narasimhan, chief executive officer of Novartis, told CNBC at the China Development Forum.
The Swiss drugmaker had indicated last year that it would need more time before making a decision on spinning off Alcon, which had been ailing but saw a recovery in sales last year.
Former Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez had said during a conference call in October that a spin-off of Alcon had to be from a "position of strength" and that the near-term focus was on sales and core operating income growth.