Abbott Laboratories

Abbott reports first-quarter results meet expectations
Quarter highlighted by early close of BASF Pharma acquisition
Strong growth in US pharmaceuticals, US hospital products and global nutritionals

    Abbott Park, Illinois (ots-PRNewswire) -

    Abbott's U.S. pharmaceutical business grew nearly 18 percent in
the first quarter, including one month of sales from the acquisition
of BASF Pharma.  This marks the third consecutive quarter of
double-digit sales growth for U.S. pharmaceuticals.
      -- Kaletra recorded worldwide sales of $44 million; received
marketing clearance in Europe.
    -- Abbott's U.S. hospital products business continued its
excellent performance, with sales growth of 11.5 percent.
    -- Sales of global nutritionals grew 7.2 percent on a performance
    -- Sof-Tact, the first fully automated glucose monitoring system
to provide virtually painless, one-step testing, was launched
in the United States.

    Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) today reported increases in both
sales and earnings for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001,
excluding one-time charges.  Worldwide sales for the first quarter
were $3.560 billion, up 6.2 percent from $3.353 billion in the first
quarter of 2000.  Total sales were unfavourably impacted 2.8 percent
due to the effect of the relatively stronger U.S. dollar.  Without
the impact of exchange, total sales increased by 9.0 percent.
Excluding one-time charges, diluted earnings per share for the
quarter were 47 cents, meeting the First Call analyst consensus
estimates.  One-time charges in the first quarter totalled 41 cents.
Net earnings, excluding acquired in-process research and development
and other one-time charges, were $735 million and, after these
one-time charges, were $96 million.
    First-quarter 2001 sales for Abbott's three major businesses --
global pharmaceuticals, global nutritionals and global medical
products -- were as follows.  Sales for global pharmaceuticals were
$1.660 billion, an increase of 10.2 percent from $1.507 billion in
the first quarter of 2000.  Without the impact of exchange, global
pharmaceuticals sales increased by 12.8 percent. The global
pharmaceuticals business consists of U.S. sales of the Pharmaceutical
Products Division, hospital pharmaceuticals and speciality
pharmaceuticals from Abbott's Ross Products business; and sales
outside the United States of core pharmaceutical products, hospital
pharmaceuticals and speciality pharmaceuticals.
    First-quarter sales of global nutritionals were $730 million, an
increase of 4.9 percent from $696 million in the first quarter of
2000.  Without the impact of exchange, global nutritionals sales
increased by 7.2 percent.  Sales of global medical products were
$1.069 billion, an increase of 1.3 percent from $1.054 billion.
Without the impact of exchange, global medical products sales
increased by 4.7 percent.  The global medical products business
consists of U.S. and international hospital devices and worldwide
    The following is a summary of first-quarter 2001 sales for each of
Abbott's major operating divisions and TAP Pharmaceutical Products
    Total sales in U.S. markets were $2.293 billion, up 11.2 percent
from $2.061 billion in the first quarter of 2000.  Total
international sales, including direct exports from the United States,
were $1.267 billion, a 1.9 percent decrease from $1.292 billion
recorded a year ago.  International sales were unfavourably impacted
7.1 percent due to the effect of the relatively stronger U.S. dollar.
Without the impact of exchange, international sales increased by 5.2
    "During the first quarter, we achieved strong performance growth
across our businesses and made great strides in furthering our global
pharmaceutical strategy," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief
executive officer.  "We completed the acquisition of the BASF
pharmaceutical business, the largest in Abbott's history, well ahead
of schedule, and entered into a promising alliance with Millennium
Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  These important steps build our scientific
capabilities and investment, broaden our infrastructure, strengthen
our product pipeline, and add important new technology platforms that
lay the foundation for future growth."
    Abbott confirms earnings-per-share guidance
    Abbott confirmed earnings-per-share guidance for the
second-quarter 2001 of 45 cents, and $1.88 for the full year,
excluding one-time charges, meeting the First Call analyst consensus
estimates.  Consistent with its Dec. 15, 2000, 8-K filing, Abbott
continues to forecast total one-time charges for the BASF Pharma
transaction of 53 cents for full-year 2001, subject to the
finalisation of an in-process research and development appraisal in
the second quarter.
    Other business highlights
    -- On March 2, Abbott announced it had completed the acquisition
of BASF Pharma, including the global pharmaceutical operations of
Knoll.  This adds more than $2 billion to annual sales and brings
Abbott's pharmaceutical R&D investment to approximately $1 billion.
    -- On March 29, Abbott announced it had received marketing
authorisation from the European Commission for Kaletra, its
advanced-generation protease inhibitor.  Kaletra has a unique balance
of potency tolerability and durability not found in currently
available  regimens, and it provides a new treatment option that is
particularly effective for use in patients new to HIV therapy,
including children.
    -- On March 12, Abbott and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
announced that they had formed a unique and comprehensive strategic
alliance covering joint discovery, development and commercialisation
of a full spectrum of both drugs and molecular diagnostics for the
treatment and management of obesity and diabetes. Both companies
expect to deliver two drug candidates into the clinic by 2002, and
two to three drug candidates per year thereafter, and build the
world's most prominent metabolic disease franchise.
    -- Through an agreement with Enfer Scientific Ltd., Abbott will
market and distribute two diagnostic tests used to detect bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or "mad cow disease," in cattle.
These tests will improve the speed and reliability of BSE testing, as
public concerns over the disease grow. Abbott's leadership in
diagnostics and its global presence will ensure the products are
widely available to meet growing demand.
    -- In early February, Abbott announced it had entered into a
distribution agreement with MedNova, Limited for its embolic filter
and carotid stent products, and an exclusive, worldwide licensing
agreement with Rubicon Medical, Inc. for its Guardian system, an
occlusion balloon for embolisation protection.  These products, in
addition to Perclose's vessel closure devices, Biocompatibles'
PC-coated stents and LuMend's catheter-based products, expand
Abbott's presence in the interventional cardiology and radiology
    -- On Jan. 25, Abbott announced that the European Union's
Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP) had adopted a
positive opinion on Uprima sublingual for the treatment of erectile
dysfunction (ED). Uprima awaits final marketing authorisation from
the European Commission.
    Abbott Laboratories is a global, diversified health care company
devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of
pharmaceuticals, nutritionals, and medical products, including
devices and diagnostics.  The company employs 70,000 people and
markets its products in more than 130 countries.  In 2000, the
company's sales and net earnings were $13.7 billion and $2.8 billion,
respectively, with diluted earnings per share of $1.78. Abbott's news
releases and other information are available on the company's Web
site at .  Abbott will webcast its live first-quarter
earnings conference call through its Web site at at 9 a.m. today, Central time.  An archived
edition of the call will be available after 1 p.m., Central time.
      Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 - A Caution
Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
    Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking
statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995.  Abbott cautions that these forward-looking statements
are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results
to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking
statements.  Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and
other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in
Exhibit 99.1 of our 2000 Form 10-K and in our periodic reports on
Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, and are incorporated by reference. Abbott
undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to
forward- looking statements as the result of subsequent events or
ots Originaltext: Abbott Laboratories
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