Abbott sees 34% profit increase in Q1

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Abbott Laboratories reported a 34 percent increase in its 2008 first-quarter performance due to higher sales of prescription drugs and medical devices.

In the first fiscal quarter, earnings rose to $937.9 million, compare to 697.5 million in the prior year, according to the Abbott Park, Ill.-based company.

Abbott said its revenue rose 14 percent to $6.77 billion, up from $5.95 billion one year earlier. Revenue during the period was boosted by a 54 percent increase in its rheumatoid arthritis medication Humira sales, which surged to $878 million in the first quarter, mainly assisted by international demand, compared to year-ago quarter.

The company said its global pharmaceutical sales rose 14.3 percent, with U.S. sales up 3.6 percent and global sales up 25.1 percent, which was also affected by the current currency rate.