ABBOTT PARK, Ill., April 25 /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'
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