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Abbott sales beat as demand for generic drugs rises

[BENGALURU] Abbott Laboratories Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly sales as demand rose for its generic drugs in emerging markets, including Latin America and China.

Abbott said on Wednesday sales of its generic drugs grew in double digits in emerging markets, helped by the acquisition of Chilean drugmaker CFR Pharmaceuticals SA last year.

Sales of generic drugs rose to US$961 million in the third quarter, contributing about 19 per cent to Abbott's total sales.

Revenue from its nutritional products business, its largest, rose 6.5 per cent. The business accounts for more than a third of the company's total sales.

Abbott also raised the lower end of its full-year profit forecast range and cut the upper end, to US$2.14-US$2.16 per share from US$2.10-US$2.20.

The developer of anesthetic Pentothal said total revenue rose 2 per cent to US$5.15 billion in the quarter ended Sept 30, while net profit rose 8 per cent to US$580 million, or 38 cents per share.

Excluding items, Abbott earned 54 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 53 cents per share and revenue of US$5.14 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Abbott's shares closed at US$41.74 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.