AbbVie expects Botox sales recovery in Europe after U.S. rebound

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A screen displays the share price for drugmaker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
A screen displays the share price for drugmaker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

April 30 (Reuters) - AbbVie Inc (ABBV.N) said on Friday it expects demand for cosmetic treatments such as Botox in Europe and Brazil to rebound in the second half of 2021 as restrictions ease and stringent safety measures are put in place.

Sales of the anti-wrinkle injection, which AbbVie gained through its $63 billion deal for Allergan, jumped 44.7% to $447 million in the first quarter as vaccinations encouraged people to catch up on deferred procedures in the United States.

Botox and other cosmetic products such as Juvederm facial fillers were performing above levels seen before the pandemic, Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez said on an earnings call.

While pent-up demand in the United States was driving up sales for Botox, some of the growth was also due to investments in the drug after buying it, Gonzalez said.

"The one area that still is being impacted in a fairly significant way from COVID is the European market. We still see (demand) starting to emerge in areas like the UK but there are other areas in Europe that are still in lockdown," he said.

AbbVie now expects Botox sales of $1.9 billion, up about 62% from 2020. The company raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to between $12.37 and $12.57 per share, from its prior estimate of $12.32 and $12.52.

Shares were flat in morning trading.

Meanwhile, sales of rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira rose 3.5% to $4.87 billion, even as it faced pressure outside the United States due to rising competition from cut-price copycat drugs.

Total sales rose nearly 51% to $13.01 billion, ahead of estimates of $12.76 billion, while adjusted profit of $2.95 per share beat estimates of $2.83.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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