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Abbott Annual Meeting Highlights Continued Strong Performance in 2009; Sustained Growth in 2010

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:

  • Completed the acquisition of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, adding nearly $3 billion in 2010 revenue, a robust branded generics portfolio and expanding Abbott's footprint in key emerging markets across Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
  • Augmented the pharmaceutical pipeline with the acquisition of PG110, a novel compound to treat chronic pain and Facet Biotech's developmental compounds in immunology and oncology, complementing Abbott's existing research in these areas.
  • Gained new medical products technology including: Evalve's MitraClip for non-surgical heart valve repair, Visiogen's next-generation intraocular lens to treat cataracts and IBIS Biosciences' advanced diagnostics technology.
  • Acquired Advanced Medical Optics, a global leader in vision care and surgical technologies, further diversifying Abbott's medical products businesses.

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.  

Global Citizenship

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

External Recognition

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.

Shareholder Proposals

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:

  • Robert J. Alpern, M.D., Ensign professor of medicine, professor of internal medicine, and dean of Yale School of Medicine.
  • Roxanne S. Austin, president and chief executive officer, Move Networks, Inc. and president, Austin Investment Advisors.
  • William M. Daley, vice chairman and head of the office of corporate 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, retired chairman and chief executive officer, Northern Trust Corporation and The Northern Trust Company.
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Owen CH FRCP, chairman of Europe Steel, Ltd.
  • Roy S. Roberts, managing director, Reliant Equity Investors.
  • Samuel C. Scott III, retired 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.

W. Ann Reynolds retired from the board of directors after 30 years of service.

About 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 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

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