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Abbott To Spin Off Hospital Products Unit To Focus On High-Margin Products

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Abbott Laboratories' Ross consumer health care division will be unaffected by the company's spin-off of its Hospital Products unit, announced Aug. 22

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Ross growth opportunities: Ensure Glucerna nutritional food brand for blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes and "other disease-specific nutritionals is an area that offers strong future growth potential for Ross," Tom Freyman, Abbott Labs Senior VP & CFO tells analysts at Bear Stearns Healthcare Conference in New York City on Sept. 8-9. Ross' overall business remains attractive to parent firm Abbott due to its strong cash flow, exceptional return on invested capital, exec notes, adding "our goal now is to improve sales growth" of the division. Ross' ProSure nutritional formula for patients with cancer-induced weight loss has been "well-received in institutions, and the success of our aggressive awareness campaign has resulted in the ability to accelerate the retail strategy," Freyman adds. Abbott recently announced plans to increase its focus, investment on higher margin medical and pharmaceutical products in its portfolio, spin off its hospital products division into a separate publicly traded company (1"The Tan Sheet" Aug. 25, 2003, p. 7)...

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