Abbott Annual Meeting Highlights Outstanding 2007 Results, International Growth and Near-Term Pipeline
ABBOTT PARK, Ill., April 25, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott's broad portfolio of businesses and expanding global operations generated outstanding 2007 results, and its new product pipeline provides a foundation for continued growth as demonstrated by the company's strong first-quarter performance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Miles D. White told shareholders today at the company's annual meeting.
"2007 was an outstanding year for Abbott across all of our major businesses and our strong momentum has carried into 2008," said Mr. White. "We delivered another year of strong sales and profitability. We expanded our business in important emerging economies such as China, India, Russia and Latin America. And we were highly productive in building our pipeline, providing the basis for a steady new product stream and continued future success."
Business Mix Drives Results
Significant contributions from each of the company's major businesses -- diabetes care, diagnostics, nutritionals, pharmaceuticals and vascular -- drove a 15 percent increase in 2007 sales. Abbott's stock also outperformed the S&P 500 Index and the majority of its peers, delivering a total return to shareholders of 18 percent in 2007 (stock price growth plus dividends). This marked the second straight year Abbott outpaced the S&P 500 and most of its peers; in 2006, its stock had a total return of 27 percent.
"The diversity and balance of our business base is our core strength and Abbott's greatest differentiator," said Mr. White. "Our continued strong growth through the challenges that face medical technology innovators speaks to our ability to adapt, execute and optimize the many prospects that our mix of businesses provides."
While the United States remains Abbott's single largest market, the company's growing international business has been central to its performance. For the first time in Abbott's 120-year history, the company's mix of total revenues in 2007 favored its international business.
In 2007, Abbott's diabetes care sales increased 18 percent internationally; international nutritionals grew 18 percent; the international pharmaceutical business delivered sales growth of nearly 17 percent; and diagnostics enjoyed strong growth in Europe, Latin America and Japan.
A major component of Abbott's success is the innovation of new products to serve patients. Abbott plans a record number of new product introductions in 2008:
-- Already in 2008, the company has introduced two new indications for HUMIRA(R) (adalimumab) -- moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and moderate to severely active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, both of which received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in the first quarter. Abbott also received approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for HUMIRA for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in patients with inadequate response to conventional therapy. -- SIMCOR(R), a fixed-dose combination of Niaspan(R) (Abbott's proprietary niacin extended-release) and simvastatin that targets both "good" and "bad" cholesterol in a single pill, was also approved by the FDA in the first quarter. -- Abbott broadened its line of glucose meters with the launch of the FreeStyle Freedom(R) Lite and received U.S. approval for its FreeStyle Navigator(R) Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. -- Abbott introduced the ARCHITECT i1000SR immunochemistry analyzer in the United States. Designed to help improve productivity in small-volume labs, the instrument addresses common laboratory workflow challenges through innovative sample processing and reagent management. -- Abbott expects to launch its XIENCE(TM) V drug-eluting stent in the United States in the second quarter. XIENCE V was launched in Europe and other international markets beginning in late 2006. -- A controlled-release form of Abbott's pain reliever Vicodin was submitted for U.S. regulatory approval in the fourth quarter of 2007. -- TriLipix(TM), a next-generation fenofibrate for lipid management, was submitted for U.S. regulatory approval in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Mr. White said the company is also conducting highly innovative research and development work across its range of medical products, nutritional and pharmaceutical businesses.
During the meeting, shareholders rejected proposals calling for a non-binding vote on executive compensation and access to medicines. In addition, the shareholders ratified the selection of Deloitte & Touche LLP as auditors of the corporation for 2008.
Abbott's 13 incumbent directors were elected to the board of directors during the annual meeting. They are listed below:
-- Roxanne S. Austin, president, Austin Investment Advisors. -- William M. Daley, head of the office of corporate social responsibility and chairman of the midwest, JPMorgan Chase & Co. -- W. James Farrell, retired chairman and chief executive officer, Illinois Tool Works Inc. -- H. Laurance Fuller, retired co-chairman of the board, BP Amoco, p.l.c. -- William A. Osborn, chairman and former chief executive officer, Northern Trust Corporation and The Northern Trust Company. -- The Rt. Hon. Lord Owen CH, chairman of Europe Steel, p.l.c. -- Boone Powell Jr., retired chairman, Baylor Health Care System. -- W. Ann Reynolds, Ph.D., former president, The University of Alabama at Birmingham. -- Roy S. Roberts, managing director, Reliant Equity Investors. -- Samuel C. Scott III, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Corn Products International, Inc. -- William D. Smithburg, retired chairman, president and chief executive officer, The Quaker Oats Company. -- Glenn F. Tilton, chairman, president and chief executive officer, UAL Corporation and United Air Lines, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of UAL Corporation. -- Miles D. White, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Abbott.
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 68,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.
Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at http://www.abbott.com.
CONTACT: Media, Melissa Brotz, +1-847-935-3456, or Scott Stoffel,+1-847-936-9502, or Financial, Larry Peepo, +1-847-935-6722, all of Abbott
Web site: http://www.abbott.com/
Ticker Symbol: (NYSE:ABT)
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Posted: April 2008