Abbott closes 2008 with strong Q4

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Abbott Laboratories Wednesday reported its 2008 fourth quarter profit climbed 27 percent over the previous year-ago quarter, and reiterated expectations for strong earnings growth in 2009 despite a slumping global economy.

The fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2008, showed earnings earnings per share under Generally Accepted accounting principles (GAAP) were up 27.3 percent to $1.54 billion, compared to year-ago earnings of $1.2 billion, according to the company.

The Abbott Park, Ill-Abbott said its global sales increased 10.1 percent to $8 billion, including an unfavorable 2.5 percent effect of exchange rates. Full-year 2008 sales were nearly $30 billion. The company also said that its global pharmaceutical sales increased nearly 10 percent driven by in part by the TriCor/TriLipix franchise.

Abbott also reported that its global medical products sales increased 15.6 percent; with 58.9 percent growth in global vascular sales driven by Xience V drug-eluting stent, which gained FDA approval in July 2008.

“The strategic actions we've taken and our ongoing business momentum position Abbott to deliver continued double-digit growth in 2009,” according to Miles D. White, chairman and CEO at Abbott.