Having just posted a strong set of financials for the first quarter [[13/04/05d]], Abbott Laboratories has been outlining to shareholders the secrets of its success.

Chief Executive Miles White noted that both the firm’s pharmaceuticals and medical products division delivered double-digit growth and said it is this “dual structure [that] provides us one of the broadest and most stable bases in the health care industry.”

He added that the firm’s US pharmaceutical business was the second-fastest growing among its peers for the second consecutive year and “our total return – stock appreciation plus dividends – over the last five years was more than 52%, which puts us at the top of our peer group.”

Abbott also told shareholders that in 2004, it had 14 pharmaceutical brands with sales exceeding $200 million each, up from five in 1998 and also referred to its “industry-recognised” pipeline.

Last year, the company submitted seven applications to the US Food and Drug Administration for new treatments and indications, including Zemplar (paricalcitol) for the treatment of a serious complication of chronic kidney disease [[03/08/04h]] and Xinlay (atrasentan), an oral, once-daily, non-chemotherapy agent for the treatment of late-stage prostate cancer [[15/12/04d]].