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Kodak slashes jobs while euro rate worries Siemens CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Ongoing difficulties in Abbott Laboratories' US diagnostics business were reflected by a 1.8% drop in total diagnostics sales, to $3bn, when currency effects were excluded. Factoring in the positive impact of the foreign exchange, the figure was up by 5%. There could well be an improvement in 2004 as the FDA has now agreed to let it recommence production at a key site in Illinois (see Clinica No 1089, p 1). The MediSense diabetes business was fairly flat, excluding currency effects ($541m). The group reported a 7.8% underlying rise in 2003 group sales (subtracting a 3.5 percentage point positive currency effect). As well as pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, the overall figure included hospital products ($4bn; including a 45% rise in vascular device sales to $185m) and Ross Products/nutritionals ($3.5bn). One-time charges in 2003 included $98m for in-process R&D relating to acquisitions, a $536m penalty for the Medicare fraud committed by its Ross Products division, and $67m in impaired assets. The company is spinning off most of its hospital products, and expects the associated one-time charges to reduce 2004 earnings per share by $0.20 to $2.20-2.28. Separately, Abbott has announced a multi-year deal with America's Blood Centers, which accounts for nearly half of the US donated blood supply. It will provide instruments and five infectious diseases tests for use in screening.

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