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UPDATE 1-Quest Diagnostics raises 2020 forecast as non-COVID-19 testing recovers

(Adds background, details on COVID-19 testing)

Sept 10 (Reuters) - Quest Diagnostics on Thursday raised its full-year revenue and profit forecast, mainly due to a faster-than-anticipated recovery of testing volumes in its base business, which does not include its COVID-19 testing.

The medical device maker said testing volumes in the United States started picking up in June as state and local governments gradually began lifting coronavirus-induced restrictions.

The company said it expects 2020 profit to be between $7.50 and $9 per share, up from $6.60 to $8.60 per share forecast earlier.

Quest had said in July it expected to cut week-long turnaround times for COVID-19 tests by more than half to get to “acceptable” levels by September, responding to concerns that slow testing was hampering the U.S. response to the health crisis.

Quest reported a two-day average turnaround time for COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests, as of Aug. 31.

The company said on Thursday volumes of its COVID-19 molecular and antibody testing remain consistent with its previous outlook.

Annual revenue is expected to be between $8.4 billion and $8.8 billion, compared with $8 billion and $8.6 billion previously, it said. (Reporting by Trisha Roy and Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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