Spain's Almirall said coronavirus to hit 2020 sales, earnings

Spanish pharmaceutical firm Almirall lowered its 2020 outlook on Monday, forecasting a decrease in net sales and core earnings after the coronavirus pandemic hit its dermatology business, bringing net profit down 31.5% in the first semester.

By Joan Faus

BARCELONA, July 27 (Reuters) - Spanish pharmaceutical firm Almirall ALM.MC lowered its 2020 outlook on Monday, forecasting a decrease in net sales and core earnings after the coronavirus pandemic hit its dermatology business, bringing net profit down 31.5% in the first semester.

The Barcelona-based company - which has a market capitalization of 1.74 billion euros - reported a 42.4 million euros ($49.59 million) in net profit in the first half of the year, down from 61.9 million euros a year ago, signalling the challenges some in the sector face due to the pandemic.

"Our dermatology business in the United States and Europe has been deeply affected by COVID-19. The reduction in the number of patients' visits due to the lockdown and the change of prescription habits has negatively affected our results," said Chief Executive Officer Peter Guenter in a statement.

Almirall now forecasts net sales will fall in low to mid single-digit in 2020 compared with a prior forecast of low to mid single-digit growth.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) will likely fall to between 230 million euros and 250 million euros down from 304.2 million euros in 2019. The company previous expectation was 260-280 million euros.

Net sales in the first half of the year decreased 1% from the same period of 2019, to 426 million euros, with a 45.6% fall in the United States, where it has also been affected by new competition from generic products.

Total revenues fell by 7.7% to 433 million euros while EBITDA shrunk 17.4% to 137.2 million euros.

($1 = 0.8550 euros)

(Reporting by Joan Faus, editing by Inti Landauro and Jon Boyle)

((joan.faus@thomsonreuters.com;))

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