Abbott Laboratories has posted healthy second-quarter sales at its pharmaceuticals division, driven again by the performance of its anti-inflammatory blockbuster Humira.

Net income soared 50.4% to $1.94 million, helped by "favourable adjustment to tax expense" of $519 million. Group sales were up 9.0% to $9.62 billion, and Humira (adalimumab), which is approved for indications covering rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis, contributed just shy of $2.00 billion, up 25.3%.

As for the company’s lipids franchise, TriCor (fenofibrate) and TriLipix (fenofibric acid) had sales of $419 million, up 6.2%, while Niaspan (niacin) brought in $247 million, a rise of 17.2%. Of Abbott’s other products, the prostate cancer therapy Lupron (leuprolide) was up 9.4% to $205 million, while revenues from HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) were up 14.3% to $336 million.

Sales of the hypothyroid medication Synthroid (levothyroxine) increased 31.3% to $205 million, while what Abbott refers to as ‘established pharmaceuticals’, which include branded generics outside of the USA, brought in $1.34 billion, up 10.3%. These include the contribution from Abbott's Solvay Pharma unit and the generics business of India's Piramal Healthcare; growth was particularly strong in Russia, India and China.

Abbott chief executive Miles White said the firm "is well-positioned for a strong second half of the year as we remain on track for double-digit earnings per share growth in 2011". He added that the firm is "pleased with our growth in emerging markets", where sales were nearly $2.6 billion, up 23.2%, "as well as the progress of our broad-based pipeline, including several new product approvals, regulatory submissions and clinical trial initiations".

The company has raised its previous EPS guidance range for the full-year to $4.58-$4.68 from $4.54-$4.64.