Amidst a challenging 2020, Abbott remained strong and resilient thanks to the company's diversified portfolio of life-changing products.
As 2021 kicks-off, Abbott President and CEO Robert Ford participated in the virtual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and shared what Abbott has learned from the pandemic, the future of COVID-19 testing and the company's growth opportunities in this new year.
"It was an incredibly unique period for us, but I'm proud of the way the company has risen to the challenge," Mr. Ford said. "It's why Abbott was built – for moments like these."
The pandemic reinforced the value of three key factors that helped highlight the company's resiliency in 2020, Mr. Ford told attendees at the conference:
- The company's diversified business model — In normal times, Abbott's diverse portfolio maximizes its growth opportunities, but 2020 was the first time this business model was tested by a major global crisis and it proved to be critical to the company's strength. In fact, the floor of Abbott's full-year 2020 EPS guidance, which the company provided in October, is the same as it was last January, which is unique in this environment.
- The company's culture and people — Thanks to the extraordinary efforts and dedication of Abbott employees, as well as a resilient supply chain, the company was able to continue getting its life-changing technologies to the millions of people around the world who needed them during the pandemic, and it developed and scaled-up a robust portfolio of COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
- Remote care and digital health solutions — Remote monitoring has long driven many Abbott innovations, from diabetes management to cardiovascular care, and the emerging business trend has only become more important during the pandemic. Mr. Ford said Abbott will continue expanding in this space across its businesses — including in Diabetes Care, Diagnostics and Heart Failure — during 2021 and beyond.
Demand for Abbott's COVID-19 antigen and molecular tests is expected to remain high throughout 2021, Mr. Ford said. And as vaccinations increase, there likely will be an uptick in demand for Abbott’s antibody tests to assess the strength and duration of people's immune response. Longer term, demand for COVID-19 tests could transition to a steady state, similar to what's seen with the flu.