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Abbott Labs Profit Rises 11 Pct.

January 16, 1998

CHICAGO (AP) _ Abbott Laboratories’ fourth-quarter profit rose 11 percent on higher drug and nutritional product sales, the company said Friday.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the Chicago-based drug and medical device maker earned $566.7 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with $510.6 million, or 66 cents a share, in same period last year.

Sales rose 4.1 percent to $3.1 billion from $2.99 billion.

For all of 1997, worldwide sales of pharmaceutical and nutritional products rose nearly 10 percent to $6.922 billion, from $6.3 billion a year earlier. Domestic sales accounted for $4.56 billion of the total.

Sales of hospital and laboratory products rose 5.4 percent to $4.96 billion from $4.7 billion

For the year, earnings rose 11.3 percent to $2.1 billion, or $2.72 a share, from $1.9 billion, or $2.41 a share, in 1996. Annual sales rose 8 percent to $11.9 billion, from $11 billion a year earlier.

Abbott announced Thursday that Duane Burnham, the company’s chairman and chief executive, will retire at the end of 1999. The company named three new executive vice presidents as part of a succession plan.

Burnham, 55, has been at the helm of Abbott since 1990. Also departing is Thomas Hodgson, president and chief operating officer, who said retire at the end of this year.

Abbott shares rose $1.18 3/4 to $70.62 1/2 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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