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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, DC 20549
FORM 20-F
 
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) or (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
OR
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the transition period from __________ to __________
Commission file number: 001-31269
Alcon Inc.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
N/A
(Translation of Registrant's name into English)
Switzerland
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
Rue Louis-d'Affry 6, 1701 Fribourg, Switzerland
(Address of principal executive office)

Royce Bedward, Chemin de Blandonnet 8, 1214 Vernier, Geneva, Switzerland; Tel: +41 58 911 20 00; Fax +41 58 911 32 22
(Name, Telephone, Email and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.
 
Title of each class
 
Trading Symbol(s)
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
 
 
Ordinary Shares, nominal value CHF 0.04 per share
 
ALC
 
SIX Swiss Exchange
 
 
 
 
New York Stock Exchange
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act. None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act. None
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report. 488,262,870
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes     No
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of "accelerated filer and large accelerated filer" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one)
Large Accelerated Filer 
Accelerated Filer 
Non-accelerated Filer
Emerging Growth Company 
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. 
† The term "new or revised financial accounting standard" refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP
 
International Financial Reporting Standards
 
Other
as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board
If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. Item 17     Item 18 
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes  No 
 






INDEX
 
Page
Introduction and Use of Certain Terms
Market Information
Special Note About Forward-Looking Statements
PART I
Item 1.
Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Item 2.
Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3.
Key Information
Item 4.
Information on the Company
Item 4A.
Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 5.
Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Item 6.
Directors, Senior Management and Employees
Item 7.
Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions
Item 8.
Financial Information
Item 9.
The Offer and Listing
Item 10.
Additional Information
Item 11.
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 12.
Description of Securities Other than Equity Securities
PART II
Item 13.
Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies
Item 14.
Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds
Item 15.
Controls and Procedures
Item 16A.
Audit Committee and Financial Expert
Item 16B.
Code of Ethics
Item 16C.
Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Item 16D.
Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees
Item 16E.
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
Item 16F.
Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant
Item 16G.
Corporate Governance
Item 16H.
Mine Safety Disclosure
PART III
Item 17.
Financial Statements
Item 18.
Financial Statements
Item 19.
Exhibits
Consolidated Financial Statements of Alcon Inc.





INTRODUCTION AND USE OF CERTAIN TERMS
Alcon Inc. publishes Consolidated Financial Statements expressed in US dollars. Our Consolidated Financial Statements responsive to Item 18 of this Annual Report filed on Form 20-F with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the "Annual Report") are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ("IASB"). "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects", together with the sections on products in development and key development projects of our businesses (see "Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview"), constitute the Operating and Financial Review ("Rapport annuel"), as defined by the Swiss Code of Obligations.
Unless the context requires otherwise, the words "we", "our", "us", "Alcon", "Company" and similar words or phrases in this Annual Report refer to Alcon Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries and the words "Novartis" and "Novartis Group" refer to Novartis AG and its consolidated affiliates. The term "Alcon Division" means the Alcon business as it was operated under Novartis. In this Annual Report, references to the "eye care market" are to the eye care market in which we participate, including the sale of ophthalmic surgical devices, contact lenses and ocular health products, but not including the sale of spectacles and prescription ophthalmic pharmaceutical products; references to "United States dollars", "US dollars", "USD" or "$" are to the lawful currency of the United States of America, and references to "CHF" are to Swiss francs, the lawful currency of Switzerland; references to "Latin America" are to Central and South America, including the Caribbean, unless the context otherwise requires; references to "associates" are to our employees; references to the "SEC" are to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, references to the "FDA" are to the US Food and Drug Administration, and references to "EMA" are to the European Medicines Agency, an agency of the EU; references to the "NYSE" are to the New York Stock Exchange; and references to the "SIX" are to the SIX Swiss Exchange; references to "AT-IOL" mean advanced technology intraocular lenses; and references to "Alcon shares" or "our shares" are to Alcon ordinary shares, nominal value CHF 0.04 per share.
All product names appearing in italics are trademarks owned by or licensed to Alcon or its subsidiaries. Product names identified by a "®" or a "™" are trademarks that are not owned by or licensed to Alcon or its subsidiaries and are the property of their respective owners.
MARKET INFORMATION
This Annual Report contains certain industry and market data that were obtained from third-party sources, such as industry surveys and industry publications, including, but not limited to, publications by Market Scope, GfK and Nielsen. This Annual Report also contains other industry and market data, including market sizing estimates, growth and other projections and information regarding our competitive position, prepared by our management on the basis of such industry sources and our management's knowledge of and experience in the industry and markets in which we operate (including management's estimates and assumptions relating to such industry and markets based on that knowledge). Our management has developed its knowledge of such industry and markets through its experience and participation in these markets.
In addition, industry surveys and industry publications generally state that the information they contain has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but that the accuracy and completeness of such information is not guaranteed and that any projections they contain are based on a number of significant assumptions. Forecasts, projections and other forward-looking information obtained from these sources involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed in the section "Special Note About Forward-Looking Statements" below. You should not place undue reliance on these statements.

1




SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report contains, and our officers and representatives may from time to time make, certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “commitment,” “look forward,” “maintain,” “plan,” “goal,” “seek,” “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “will” and similar references to future periods. You should not place undue reliance on these statements.
Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on Alcon’s current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of its business, future plans and strategies, and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties and risks that are difficult to predict. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties facing Alcon, including:
the commercial success of its products and its ability to maintain and strengthen its position in its markets;
the success of its research and development efforts, including its ability to innovate to compete effectively;
its success in completing and integrating strategic acquisitions;
pricing pressure from changes in third party payor coverage and reimbursement methodologies;
global economic, financial, legal, tax, political, and social change;
ongoing industry consolidation;
its ability to properly educate and train healthcare providers on its products;
changes in inventory levels or buying patterns of its customers;
disruption in its global supply chain or important facilities;
ability to service its debt obligations;
the uncertainty as to what interest rate benchmark will replace LIBOR;
the need for additional financing through the issuance of debt or equity;
its reliance on outsourcing key business functions;
its ability to protect its intellectual property;
the impact on unauthorized importation of its products from countries with lower prices to countries with higher prices;
the effects of litigation, including product liability lawsuits, and governmental investigations;
its ability to comply with all laws to which it may be subject;
effect of product recalls or voluntary market withdrawals;
data breaches or other disruptions of its information technology systems;
the implementation of its enterprise resource planning system;
its ability to attract and retain qualified personnel;
the accuracy of its accounting estimates and assumptions, including pension plan obligations, the carrying value of intangible assets, and our separation and transformation programs cost;
the ability to obtain regulatory clearance and approval of its products as well as compliance with any post-approval obligations, including quality control of its manufacturing;
legislative and regulatory reform;
the ability of Alcon Pharmaceuticals Ltd. to comply with its investment tax incentive agreement with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Switzerland and the Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland;
the impact of environmental, social, and governance matters;
its ability to operate as a stand-alone company;
whether the transitional services Novartis has agreed to provide Alcon are sufficient;
the impact of being listed on two stock exchanges;
the ability to declare and pay dividends;
the different rights afforded to its shareholders as a Swiss corporation compared to a US corporation; and
the effect of maintaining or losing its foreign private issuer status under US securities laws.
Some of these factors are discussed in more detail in this Annual Report, including under “Item 3. Key Information—3.D. Risk Factors”, “Item 4. Information on the Company” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects”. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in this Annual Report as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. We provide the information in this Annual Report as of the date of its filing. We do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update any information or forward-looking statements set out in this Annual Report as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

2




PART I
ITEM 1.
IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
1.A.
DIRECTORS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT
Not Applicable.
1.B.
ADVISERS
Not Applicable.
1.C.
AUDITORS
Not Applicable.


3




ITEM 2.
OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
Not Applicable.

4




ITEM 3.
KEY INFORMATION
3.A.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following selected financial data should be read together with the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes and "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects".
The selected financial data in this section are not intended to replace the Consolidated Financial Statements and the related Notes. Our historical results could differ from those that would have resulted if we operated autonomously or as an entity independent of Novartis in the periods for which historical financial data is presented below prior to our spin-off from Novartis on April 9, 2019 ("Spin-off"), and such results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future.
For additional details regarding the preparation of the Consolidated Financial Statements, please see "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects5.A. Operating Results—Overview—Basis of Preparation", and "Note 2. Basis of Preparation" to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Consolidated Financial Statements are prepared in accordance with IFRS, as issued by the IASB.
Income statement data
($ millions except (loss)/earnings per share)
 
2019

 
2018

 
2017

 
2016

 
2015

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales to third parties
 
7,362

 
7,149

 
6,785

 
6,589

 
6,751

Net sales and other revenues
 
7,508

 
7,153

 
6,792

 
6,596

 
6,776

Operating (loss)/income
 
(187
)
 
(248
)
 
(77
)
 
10

 
417

Interest expense
 
(113
)
 
(24
)
 
(27
)
 
(31
)
 
(18
)
Other financial income & expense
 
(32
)
 
(28
)
 
(23
)
 
(92
)
 
(48
)
(Loss)/income before taxes
 
(332
)
 
(300
)
 
(127
)
 
(113
)
 
351

Taxes
 
(324
)
 
73

 
383

 
(57
)
 
(43
)
Net (loss)/income
 
(656
)
 
(227
)
 
256

 
(170
)
 
308

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Loss)/earnings per share
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
(1.34
)
 
(0.46
)
 
0.52

 
(0.35
)
 
0.63

Diluted
 
(1.34
)
 
(0.46
)
 
0.52

 
(0.35
)
 
0.63

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weighted average number of shares outstanding (millions)(1)
Basic
 
488.2

 
488.2

 
488.2

 
488.2

 
488.2

Diluted
 
488.2

 
488.2

 
488.2

 
488.2

 
488.2

(1)
For periods prior to the Spin-off, the denominator for basic and diluted earnings per share was calculated using the 488.2 million shares of common stock distributed in the Spin-off.

5




Balance sheet data
 
At December 31,
($ millions)
2019

 
2018

 
2017

 
2016

 
2015

 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Cash and cash equivalents
822

 
227

 
172

 
162

 
285

Inventories
1,505

 
1,440

 
1,303

 
1,207

 
1,149

Other current assets
1,909

 
1,732

 
1,812

 
1,650

 
1,540

Non-current assets
23,419

 
23,663

 
24,101

 
24,721

 
25,228

Total assets
27,655

 
27,062

 
27,388

 
27,740

 
28,202

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Trade payables
833

 
663

 
615

 
516

 
493

Other current liabilities
1,467

 
1,230

 
1,163

 
1,149

 
1,150

Non-current liabilities
6,052

 
2,530

 
2,581

 
3,063

 
2,922

Total liabilities
8,352

 
4,423

 
4,359

 
4,728

 
4,565

Equity
19,303

 
22,639

 
23,029

 
23,012

 
23,637

Total equity and liabilities
27,655

 
27,062

 
27,388

 
27,740

 
28,202

Net assets
19,303

 
22,639

 
23,029

 
23,012

 
23,637

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Outstanding share capital
20

 

 

 

 

Total outstanding shares (millions)(1)
488.3

 
488.2

 
488.2

 
488.2

 
488.2

(1)
For periods prior to the Spin-off, the shares outstanding represent the 488.2 million shares of common stock distributed in the Spin-off.


6




Exchange Rates
The following table shows, for the years and dates indicated, certain information concerning the rate of exchange of US dollar per Swiss franc based on exchange rate information found on Bloomberg Market System. The exchange rate in effect on February 21, 2020 as found on Bloomberg Market System was CHF 1.00 = USD 1.02.
($ per CHF)
Average(1)

Year ended December 31, 2015
1.04

Year ended December 31, 2016
1.01

Year ended December 31, 2017
1.02

Year ended December 31, 2018
1.02

Year ended December 31, 2019
1.01

($ per CHF)
Low(2)

 
High(2)

January 2019
1.00
 
1.01
February 2019
1.00
 
1.01
March 2019
1.00
 
1.01
April 2019
0.98
 
0.98
May 2019
0.99
 
1.00
June 2019
1.02
 
1.03
July 2019
1.01
 
1.01
August 2019
1.01
 
1.01
September 2019
1.00

 
1.01

October 2019
1.01

 
1.01

November 2019
1.00

 
1.00

December 2019
1.03

 
1.04

January 2020
1.00