Abbott, on track for split, posts strong Q2 numbers

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Abbott Labs reported strong second quarter sales that, though mitigated by an unfavorable exchange rate, cheered analysts and investors, with muscular growth in Humira sales a high point.

Absent the exchange effect, worldwide sales would have risen 6.7%. Net income sank 11% on charges related to the breakup and recent acquisitions and partnerships, including those of Action Pharma and Solvay, and licencing deals with Reata and Biotest.

Global Humira sales were up 23% over Q2 2011, before factoring in exchange distortions, to $2.3 billion. The firm's nutritionals division posted operational growth of 4.5% for the quarter, and its vascular division saw operational sales up 4.6%, though US sales for the division fell 6%.  Sales in emerging markets were up 12% year-over-year.

Company officials said the planned split of the company into two separate entities is on track to take effect on January 1, 2013, though they declined to talk specifics, saying they'd have more to say on the details in three months. Pending approvals, Abbott will become two distinct companies – a devices, diagnostics, generics and nutritionals firm called Abbott Laboratories and a research-based biopharma firm called AbbVie – at the end of the year.  

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