LAVAL, Quebec—Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE/TSX: BHC) reported Tuesday that its full-company revenue rose 1 percent (or $15 million) in the first quarter to $2.027 billion from $2.012 billion in the year-ago period. The company noted that it had a GAAP net loss of $610 million in the quarter, and adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) of $852 million. Bausch also said it “continues to make progress” on the planned separation of its eye health business, Bausch + Lomb.

Bausch Health said top-line revenue was negatively impacted by approximately $100 million in the first quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Excluding the favorable impact of foreign exchange of $33 million and the impact of divestitures and discontinuations of $10 million, revenue declined organically by $8 million compared with the year-ago period.

The company’s progress toward the planned spinoff of B+L as an independent company includes the announcement Tuesday of the planned leadership team for Bausch + Lomb, which will be current chairman and chief executive officer of the parent Bausch Health company, Joseph C. Papa, and the newly appointed controller, Sam Eldessouky. Eldessouky, who also has the title chief accounting officer at the parent company, has been named to succeed Bausch Health's current chief financial officer, Paul S. Herendeen, effective June 1.

In addition, Bausch said it has made progress toward internal objectives necessary for the separation, including operating in five reportable segments commencing with the first quarter of 2021. In August 2020, Bausch Health said it would spinoff its B+L business unit as a way to unlock value in the company, but recent reports indicated the parent company also was considering an outright sale of the eyecare unit, as VMAIL reported last week.

“Bausch Health entered 2021 with strong momentum as our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” Papa said in Tuesday’s announcement. “Our business is generating strong cash flow, many of our leading products have increased market share in key markets, and we are advancing our pipeline.”

He added, “We are taking action to accelerate the strategic alternatives process to expedite the spinoff of Bausch + Lomb as we remain committed to unlocking value across our two attractive businesses. We are focused on execution and growth as we position these two strong, but dissimilar businesses as attractive growth opportunities in the markets they serve.”

In the Bausch + Lomb eyecare segment, revenue in the first quarter totaled $881 million, compared with $875 million for the first quarter of 2020, an increase of $6 million, or 1 percent. Excluding the favorable impact of foreign exchange of $26 million and the impact of divestitures and discontinuations of $2 million, the Bausch + Lomb segment decreased organically by approximately 2 percent, primarily due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said.

On an overall company basis, Bausch Health said it incurred an operating loss of $221 million in the first quarter, compared with operating income of $248 million for the first quarter of 2020, an unfavorable change of $469 million. The change was primarily driven by a goodwill impairment charge of $469 million in the Ortho Dermatologics business and an impairment of $71 million related to the intangible assets of a certain product line in the Ortho Dermatologics business.

This was partially offset by profit protection measures taken to manage and reduce operating expenses and preserve cash during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said.

Bausch Health reaffirmed its 2021 full-year revenue and adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) guidance ranges.

Among the company’s first-quarter highlights:

• Launched Solta Medical's Clear + Brilliant Touch laser in the U.S.
• Launched Bausch + Lomb's Alaway Preservative Free (ketotifen fumarate ophthalmic solution, 0.035%), antihistamine eye drops in the U.S.
• Repaid debt by $200 million using cash generated from operations; Bausch Health has no mandatory amortization payments or debt maturities until 2024.
• Announced statistically significant topline results from the first Phase 3 trial evaluating the investigational NOV03 (perfluorohexyloctane) as a first-in-class eye drop with a novel mechanism of action to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease associated with meibomian gland dysfunction.