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AbbVie revenue beats expectations on Humira demand

Feb 3 (Reuters) - AbbVie Inc beat quarterly revenue estimates and forecast annual profit above expectations on Wednesday due to higher demand for its blockbuster drug Humira as well as newer treatments for psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

AbbVie is betting on the new treatments and wrinkle injection Botox, acquired through its $63 billion Allergan deal, as it is set to lose patent protection for Humira in the United States, its biggest market, in 2023. Humira is the world’s top selling drug and has been boosting AbbVie’s revenue ever since it was approved to treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, its sales have suffered since new competition entered Europe.

Overall quarterly sales of Humira rose 4.8% to $5.2 billion in the fourth quarter, just above estimates of $5.1 billion. However, international sales, which excludes the United States, declined 9.4% due to the impact of biosimilars in Europe.

The company forecast 2021 adjusted earnings of between $12.32 to $12.52 per share, ahead of the analyst average estimate of $12.19, according to IBES estimates from Refinitiv.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez said the company is expecting “impressive growth again in 2021” based on broad portfolio of diversified growth assets.

In the fourth quarter, psoriasis drug Skyrizi brought in sales of $525 million, topping estimates of $472 million, according to Refinitiv data. Rinvoq, which was approved in August 2019, brought in sales of $281 million.

Overall sales rose 59.2% to $13.9 billion in the quarter, topping estimates of $13.7 billion.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $36 million, or 1 cent per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $2.8 billion, or $1.88 per share, a year earlier.

The company recorded a $4.7 billion increase in the contingent consideration liability related to Skyrizi.

Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Mrinalika Roy; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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