Cosmetic manufacturer boosts struggling Irish economy

A small town in the west of Ireland is enjoying an economic boom, despite the effects of the downturn. Like many towns and villages in the country, Westport in County Mayo is surrounded by stunning vistas and natural beauty. Unlike some other destinations however, its residents are enjoying a boom time thanks to an increase in worldwide demand for Botox.Situated just a few miles from the centre of Westport, Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland has directly created about 1,000 jobs, and along with tourism, helps to support a similar number again in the surrounding area. According to a report by Irish Central, the manufacturer is planning to expand its operations in Westport through the development of a new research and development centre, thanks to growing demand for cosmetic procedures. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said last month that the number of cosmetic surgery procedures carried out in the UK in 2011 rose by 6 per cent year-on-year. The use of Botox injections to treat other illnesses such as chronic migraines is also helping to push up sales around the world. Allergan's recently-released financial report showed that company profits during the fourth quarter of 2011 increased by 6 per cent year-on-year to $279.8m (177m), while global sales of Botox increased by 8 per cent to $415.3m (263m).