Health firm to add 500 jobs

By Pádraig Hoare

Donegal has received a major jobs boost as US healthcare firm Abbott said it was adding 500 jobs to its manufacturing facility.

The company, whose shares have gained 26% in the past year to value it at $110.5bn (€94.2bn), said due to the expansion of its existing manufacturing facility, it was “currently working on expanding our workforce in Donegal”.

A company statement said: “This expansion will bring around 500 new jobs to the site over the next few years. We’re also expanding manufacturing in the US.

“We are not disclosing details of the investment or the timeline, but it is a multi-year project.”

Abbott employs around 3,000 in nine sites across the Republic.

Its manufacturing site in Donegal makes test strips for its diabetes-related FreeStyle monitoring product.

The site in Lurganboy is also involved in research and development for diabetes.

The Illinois-headquartered firm applied for a 3,000-plus sq m extension at the Donegal site in January.

The company has one of the longest histories of any foreign direct investment in the Republic, having established in Liffey Valley in 1946.

It also has sites in Clonmel, Cootehill, Longford and Sligo.

Last week, shares reached a record after it announced second-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations.

Worldwide sales reached $7.8bn, up 17% from a year previously.

It raised its full-year earnings forecast and topped estimates for quarterly profit, powered by demand for its glucose monitoring device for diabetics and gains from its multibillion-dollar acquisitions.

In the second quarter, revenue across the company’s four major businesses rose, with sales in its medical device unit increasing by more than 11%.

The unit, which houses the sensor-based glucose monitoring system FreeStyle Libre, was the largest contributor to total sales with a 37% share.

The company estimates the device will have more than 1m users by the end of the year, up from 800,000 at the end of the second quarter.

Additional reporting Reuters

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