ABBOTT PARK, Ill., April 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott's (NYSE: ABT) diversified strategy continued to deliver superior growth and performance in 2009, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Miles D. White told shareholders today at the company's annual meeting.
"Abbott had another highly productive and successful year in 2009," said Mr. White. "We delivered strong sales and earnings growth and took strategic actions to reshape our business portfolio for the long term, adding early- and late-stage pipeline technologies as well as new growth platforms."
Value of Diversity
Balanced performance across the company's major businesses and continued strong international growth drove a third consecutive year of double-digit ongoing earnings growth in 2009. A majority of Abbott revenue was generated outside the U.S. for the third straight year, driven by growth across all businesses and strong performance within emerging markets in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
Abbott has been a strong and solid long-term investment – significantly outperforming the major stock indices and the majority of its health care peers over the last three, five and 10 years. Abbott's top-tier total return is a reflection of Abbott's stock price appreciation and dividend increases.
"Abbott's diversified strategy has delivered years of superior growth and top-tier performance," said Mr. White. "We are optimistic about the fundamental performance of our business with double-digit ongoing earnings per share growth expected again in 2010, and we're confident that Abbott remains well positioned for future success."
Investing for the Future
Abbott has taken a number of strategic actions to enhance the strength and diversity of its business portfolio, including a number of near-term pipeline opportunities and expanded offerings to add to its branded generics portfolio. A few key highlights:
In 2009, Abbott also invested more than $2.7 billion in leading-edge research across the company to develop innovative therapies in key research areas, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, hepatitis, Alzheimer's disease and vaccines.
In 2009, Abbott and the Abbott Fund increased its annual contribution in grants, patient assistance programs, humanitarian support, product donations and community programs, reaching millions of people around the world. For more information, please see Abbott's 2009 Global Citizenship Report at www.abbott.com/citizenship.
In 2009, Abbott was recognized as a top employer in numerous countries around the world and was also named among the Top 25 in Barron's "World's Most Respected Companies" for the fifth consecutive year in 2010. Also in 2010, Abbott was voted "Most Admired Company" in the pharmaceutical sector by Fortune.
During the meeting, the majority of shareholders rejected proposals calling for a non-binding advisory vote on executive compensation and an amendment of Abbott by-laws to allow shareholders owning at least 10 percent of Abbott's common shares to call for a special meeting. Shareholders also ratified the selection of Deloitte & Touche LLP as auditors of the corporation for 2010.
Additionally, Abbott's 12 incumbent directors were elected to the board of directors:
W. Ann Reynolds retired from the board of directors after 30 years of service.
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 approximately 83,000 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 www.abbott.com.
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved