By Matthias Blamont
PARIS (Reuters) - Botox-maker Allergan <AGN.N> has embarked on a big push in China where it plans to hire 200 additional staff this year and will also be on the lookout for potential acquisitions in the country, a senior executive told Reuters on Friday.
The drugmaker is about to complete a restructuring in which more than 1,000 staff will leave the company, more than 5 percent of its current workforce, as it faces a drop in revenues coming from new competition for its second most important drug, dry-eye treatment Restasis.
Speaking on the sidelines of aesthetic and cosmetic dermatology congress IMCAS in Paris, Allergan's Executive Vice President in charge of international operations Marc Princen said Allergan was eyeing annual sales of around $500 million in China by 2022.
The company recorded sales of around $180 million there last year, he said.
"At this point in time, 80 percent of our sales are in the U.S and 20 percent abroad. Over the next five years, we will bring the 20 percent to 30 percent," Princen said in an interview.
"The focus will be on high potential must-win markets, for example China. We have added 300 staff there in 2017 and we grew revenues by 60 percent. We will add another 200 this year," he said.
Princen said his team had identified 12 key markets outside the United States. Among them China, Brazil, Russia as well as European countries such as France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
"I am a strong believer in mainland Europe for instance. We can have double-digit growth there by doing the right things. At the moment, in Europe, we have growth of around between 7-8 percent, it will grow..." he said.
The executive said the company, which has recently bought Zeltiq Aesthetics for $2.48 billion, had many options to grow out of its own resources but that other acquisitions would also be considered.
"What we are not going to do : mega deals. We will not go into that. But we will buy early stage-products that we will develop and market further, the closer they are to launch, the better," he said without giving further details.
"I will not go country by country on M&A. I would say though mainland Europe is important as well as Asia."
Princen said 90 percent of the job cuts announced in November were completed.
"If we look at the proportion, its 800 departures in the U.S and 200 outside the U.S," he said.
The company is due to publish its annual results on Feb.6.
(Editing by Jane Merriman)