Abbott Laboratories

Abbott reports first-quarter results meet expectations

Quarter highlighted by early close of BASF Pharma acquisition / Strong growth in US pharmaceuticals, US hospital products and global nutritionals

    Abbott Park, Illinois (ots-PRNewswire) - Abbott's U.S. pharmaceutical business grew nearly 18 percent in the first quarter, including one month of sales from the acquisition of BASF Pharma. This marks the third consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth for U.S. pharmaceuticals.

    -- Kaletra recorded worldwide sales of $44 million; received marketing clearance in Europe.

    -- Abbott's U.S. hospital products business continued its excellent performance, with sales growth of 11.5 percent.

    -- Sales of global nutritionals grew 7.2 percent on a performance basis.

    -- Sof-Tact, the first fully automated glucose monitoring system to provide virtually painless, one-step testing, was launched in the United States.

    Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) today reported increases in both sales and earnings for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001, excluding one-time charges. Worldwide sales for the first quarter were $3.560 billion, up 6.2 percent from $3.353 billion in the first quarter of 2000. Total sales were unfavourably impacted 2.8 percent due to the effect of the relatively stronger U.S. dollar. Without the impact of exchange, total sales increased by 9.0 percent. Excluding one-time charges, diluted earnings per share for the quarter were 47 cents, meeting the First Call analyst consensus estimates. One-time charges in the first quarter totalled 41 cents. Net earnings, excluding acquired in-process research and development and other one-time charges, were $735 million and, after these one-time charges, were $96 million.

    First-quarter 2001 sales for Abbott's three major businesses -- global pharmaceuticals, global nutritionals and global medical products -- were as follows. Sales for global pharmaceuticals were $1.660 billion, an increase of 10.2 percent from $1.507 billion in the first quarter of 2000. Without the impact of exchange, global pharmaceuticals sales increased by 12.8 percent. The global pharmaceuticals business consists of U.S. sales of the Pharmaceutical Products Division, hospital pharmaceuticals and speciality pharmaceuticals from Abbott's Ross Products business; and sales outside the United States of core pharmaceutical products, hospital pharmaceuticals and speciality pharmaceuticals.

    First-quarter sales of global nutritionals were $730 million, an increase of 4.9 percent from $696 million in the first quarter of 2000. Without the impact of exchange, global nutritionals sales increased by 7.2 percent. Sales of global medical products were $1.069 billion, an increase of 1.3 percent from $1.054 billion. Without the impact of exchange, global medical products sales increased by 4.7 percent. The global medical products business consists of U.S. and international hospital devices and worldwide diagnostics.

    The following is a summary of first-quarter 2001 sales for each of Abbott's major operating divisions and TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc.

    Total sales in U.S. markets were $2.293 billion, up 11.2 percent from $2.061 billion in the first quarter of 2000. Total international sales, including direct exports from the United States, were $1.267 billion, a 1.9 percent decrease from $1.292 billion recorded a year ago. International sales were unfavourably impacted 7.1 percent due to the effect of the relatively stronger U.S. dollar.  Without the impact of exchange, international sales increased by 5.2 percent.

    "During the first quarter, we achieved strong performance growth across our businesses and made great strides in furthering our global pharmaceutical strategy," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer. "We completed the acquisition of the BASF pharmaceutical business, the largest in Abbott's history, well ahead of schedule, and entered into a promising alliance with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. These important steps build our scientific capabilities and investment, broaden our infrastructure, strengthen our product pipeline, and add important new technology platforms that lay the foundation for future growth."

    Abbott confirms earnings-per-share guidance

    Abbott confirmed earnings-per-share guidance for the second-quarter 2001 of 45 cents, and $1.88 for the full year, excluding one-time charges, meeting the First Call analyst consensus estimates. Consistent with its Dec. 15, 2000, 8-K filing, Abbott continues to forecast total one-time charges for the BASF Pharma transaction of 53 cents for full-year 2001, subject to the finalisation of an in-process research and development appraisal in the second quarter.

    Other business highlights

    -- On March 2, Abbott announced it had completed the acquisition of BASF Pharma, including the global pharmaceutical operations of Knoll. This adds more than $2 billion to annual sales and brings Abbott's pharmaceutical R&D investment to approximately $1 billion.

    -- On March 29, Abbott announced it had received marketing authorisation from the European Commission for Kaletra, its advanced-generation protease inhibitor. Kaletra has a unique balance of potency tolerability and durability not found in currently available regimens, and it provides a new treatment option that is particularly effective for use in patients new to HIV therapy, including children.

    -- On March 12, Abbott and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that they had formed a unique and comprehensive strategic alliance covering joint discovery, development and commercialisation of a full spectrum of both drugs and molecular diagnostics for the treatment and management of obesity and diabetes. Both companies expect to deliver two drug candidates into the clinic by 2002, and two to three drug candidates per year thereafter, and build the world's most prominent metabolic disease franchise.

    -- Through an agreement with Enfer Scientific Ltd., Abbott will market and distribute two diagnostic tests used to detect bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or "mad cow disease," in cattle. These tests will improve the speed and reliability of BSE testing, as public concerns over the disease grow. Abbott's leadership in diagnostics and its global presence will ensure the products are widely available to meet growing demand.

    -- In early February, Abbott announced it had entered into a distribution agreement with MedNova, Limited for its embolic filter and carotid stent products, and an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with Rubicon Medical, Inc. for its Guardian system, an occlusion balloon for embolisation protection. These products, in addition to Perclose's vessel closure devices, Biocompatibles' PC-coated stents and LuMend's catheter-based products, expand Abbott's presence in the interventional cardiology and radiology markets.

    -- On Jan. 25, Abbott announced that the European Union's Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP) had adopted a positive opinion on Uprima sublingual for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). Uprima awaits final marketing authorisation from the European Commission.

    Abbott Laboratories is a global, diversified health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals, nutritionals, and medical products, including devices and diagnostics. The company employs 70,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. In 2000, the company's sales and net earnings were $13.7 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively, with diluted earnings per share of $1.78. Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at Abbott will webcast its live first-quarter earnings conference call through its Web site at at 9 a.m. today, Central time. An archived edition of the call will be available after 1 p.m., Central time.

      Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 - A Caution
Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

    Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Abbott cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Exhibit 99.1 of our 2000 Form 10-K and in our periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, and are incorporated by reference. Abbott undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward- looking statements as the result of subsequent events or developments.

ots Originaltext: Abbott Laboratories

Media: Christy Beckmann, phone +1 847-938-9725
Financial analyst: John Thomas, phone +1 847-938-2655, both of Abbott

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