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UPDATE 1-AbbVie profit beats expectations on Humira demand

(Adds details on botox sales, profit estimates, share movement)

Feb 3 (Reuters) - AbbVie Inc forecast annual profit above expectations and beat quarterly estimates on Wednesday on higher demand for its blockbuster drug Humira as well as newer treatments for psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, sending its shares up 1.7%.

The Illinois-based company 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 said it expects to earn between $12.32 and $12.52 per share, ahead of the analysts’ 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 reported quarter, psoriasis drug Skyrizi brought in sales of $525 million, topping estimates of $472 million. Rinvoq, which was approved in August 2019, brought in sales of $281 million.

Fourth-quarter sales for Botox’s cosmetic use rose about 9% to $493 million as COVID-19 restrictions eased, above analysts’ estimate of $441.9 million.

Overall sales jumped 59.2% to $13.9 billion, topping quarterly estimates of $13.7 billion.

Excluding items, AbbVie earned $2.92 per share, beating expectations of $2.85.

Shares of the drugmaker were last up at $105.25 before the bell.

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

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