Abbott to add 500 new jobs at Donegal healthcare plant

US healthcare giant employs almost 3,000 people in the Republic

Abbott’s Donegal site manufactures test strips used in its FreeStyle blood glucose-monitoring meters. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

Abbott’s Donegal site manufactures test strips used in its FreeStyle blood glucose-monitoring meters. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

 

US healthcare giant Abbott plans to create 500 jobs in Donegal as it expands its existing manufacturing facility there.

With nearly 3,000 employees across nine sites in the Republic, Abbott’s operations here include manufacturing nutritional products and creating diagnostic tools for physicians.

The company’s Donegal site manufactures test strips used in its FreeStyle blood glucose monitoring meters. The facility is the sole manufacturing plant and distributor for Abbott’s test strips, which help patients with diabetes manage their condition.

Additionally, the site researches and develops technology, processes and materials to progress tests for patients with diabetes.

In response to a query from The Irish Times about its expansion plans, an Abbott spokesman said: “Due to the expansion of Abbott’s existing manufacturing facility, we are currently working on expanding our workforce in Donegal. 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.”

The company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with a $110 billion market value, is active in the infant nutrition market and that business makes up around 35 per cent of its sales.

However, diabetes care remains an area of focus, and one of its FreeStyle products, approved in Europe in 2014, was the first continuous glucose-monitoring system not requiring a fingerstick.

Nutrition products

In the Republic, plants in Cavan and Sligo manufacture nutrition products including infant formula for the export market and feeding devices for people with special dietary needs. In Clonmel, the company manufactures vascular devices, while its head office is in Dublin.

Aside from its Irish plants it has operations in both north and south America, Asia, and mainland Europe.

The US company last week released second-quarter earnings, beating Wall Street estimates, with worldwide sales in the second quarter of $7.8 billion, up 17 per cent on the same period in 2017.

Additionally, it raised its full-year earnings forecast on the back of increasing demand for its glucose-monitoring device, parts of which are manufactured in Donegal.