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Abbott posts increased Q1 results

Abbott has announced a 14.6 per cent increase in revenue for the first financial quarter of 2010, with total sales topping $7.7bn

Abbott has announced a 14.6 per cent increase in revenue for the first financial quarter of 2010, with total sales topping $7.7bn.

Profits were up in all divisions of the US-based company, with vascular products leading the way following a sales increase of 15.8 per cent. This was due mainly to the continued global growth of XIENCE, which, according to Abbott, is now the number one drug-eluting stent (DES) in the world following a successful launch in Japan.

Sales in pharmaceuticals were up too, coming to $4.1bn worldwide – an increase of 12.9 per cent. This includes a partial impact from the acquisition of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, which closed on Feb 15, 2010.

Other causes of the rise in pharmaceutical sales include strong performances from drugs such as Humira (adalimumab) – a TNF inhibitor to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases – with international sales increasing 39.2 per cent. Sales of Synthroid (levothyroxine), a drug to treat thyroid problems, were also strong, increasing 33.1 per cent internationally.

"We delivered double-digit sales growth across each of our worldwide businesses in the first quarter, reflecting our balance, diversity and strength," said Miles D White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. "We also enhanced our emerging markets presence and pharmaceutical pipeline with the closing of the Solvay Pharmaceuticals acquisition and the announced acquisition of Facet Biotech, augmenting Abbott's long-term growth outlook."

Abbott's acquisition of Facet, announced in March, is now complete following a short-form merger of Amber Acquisition, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abbott, with and into the biotechnology company.

Abbott also described the effect of the recent US healthcare reforms on the company, with the new legislation including an increase in the basic Medicaid rebate rate from 15.1 per cent to 23.1 per cent. This rebate applies to drugs provided through Medicaid managed care organisations.

The company said this increased rebate rate reduced Q1 sales by around $60m, with ongoing earnings per share reduced by $0.03 per share.

Full details of the Q1 report can be found on Abbott's website

22nd April 2010

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