Eli Lilly profit rises 41.5% as COVID-19 drug lifts sales

Eli Lilly logo is shown on one of the company’s offices in San Diego, California, U.S., September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co posted a 41.5% rise in fourth-quarter profit on Friday, helped by higher demand for its diabetes drugs and a successful launch of its COVID-19 antibody treatment.

Net earnings rose to $2.12 billion, or $2.32 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from $1.50 billion, or $1.64 per share, a year earlier.

The company recognized worldwide revenue of $871.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 for bamlanivimab, its COVID-19 antibody therapy.

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