Abbott sales beat on higher demand for medical devices

Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:45am EDT
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By Amrutha Penumudi

(Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories reported better-than-expected quarterly sales and profit as strong sales in its medical device business more than made up for the hit from an economic turmoil in Venezuela.

Abbott is one of the major U.S. companies to be affected by troubled operations in Venezuela.

The Latin American nation's economy contracted by 4.5 percent in the first nine months of last year as plunging oil prices, and what critics of President Nicolas Maduro see as policy missteps, took an increasing toll.

Venezuela's official annual inflation rate was the world's highest at 141.5 percent in the nine months.

Abbott, which rakes in two-thirds of its revenue from outside the United States, said emerging market sales increased 1.1 percent but would have risen 4.8 percent excluding the impact of Venezuelan operations.

The company's results, however, beat Wall Street estimates, largely helped by its booming medical device business, where sales rose 6.4 percent to $1.37 billion in the second quarter.

Abbott's device unit develops products for heart, diabetes and eye patients and has been helped by launches including glucose monitor FreeStyle Libre and MitraClip, which repairs heart valves less invasively.

Abbott is in the process of acquiring St. Jude Medical Inc for $25 billion. St. Jude on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings and revenue roughly in line with Wall Street estimates.   Continued...

An Abbott company logo is pictured at the reception of its office in Mumbai, India, September 8, 2015.   REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade