Global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie reported Friday a hefty gain in its third-quarter profit as the result of increasing sales of Humira, a prescription drug that treats rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and similar inflammatory disorders.
Global Humira sales grew 19.6% in the company's third quarter, ended Sept. 30, which resulted in earnings that more than doubled profit in 2014.
“We delivered another quarter of strong performance with third quarter results well ahead of our expectations,” said CEO Richard A. Gonzalez in a conference call with reporters Friday morning. “Our third-quarter performance was driven by growth from several products in our portfolio, and we continued to enhance operational efficiency and achieved a number of clinical and regulatory objectives.”
AbbVie, which has more than 28,000 employees worldwide and sells products in more than 170 countries, reported earnings of $1.2 billion, or 74 cents per share, on $5.9 billion in revenue. Earnings this year increased by 144.8% from $506 million last year and total revenue increased by 18.4% from just $5 billion in 2014. For the first nine months of 2015, the company earned $3.6 billion on $16.4 billion in revenue, an earnings increase of 40% on a sales increase of 13.4% compared with the previous year.
Other drugs in the company's portfolio seeing rapid sales growth included Viekira for treating hepatitis C, which brought in $469 million. It's currently approved in 61 countries with more coming, the company said.
In addition to increasing drug sales, the rise in AbbVie's earnings was aided by a decline in research expenses and fewer losses from foreign exchange.
For the remainder of the year, AbbVie raised its earnings-per-share guidance range to $4.26-$4.28. The diluted earnings-per-share range for 2016 is $4.90-$5.10 on an adjusted basis.
Through 2020, the company plans to launch more than 20 new products and predicts total company sales will increase to approximately $37 billion in five years. "We have a robust and compelling pipeline, which will contribute significantly to our performance over our long-range-plan,” Gonzalez said.