May 8 (Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories Inc said on Thursday it was committed to its array of branded generics, which it calls established products, because they are a "fundamental leg" of its business.
Chief Financial Officer Thomas Freyman, speaking at the annual Deutsche Bank Healthcare Conference in Boston, said branded generics are a core part of Abbott due to their appeal in emerging markets.
Fast-developing emerging markets like China and India have growing numbers of middle-class patients who often prefer generics, or drugs that have lost patent protection, that carry the brand names of well-known drugmakers.
Revenue from Abbott's established products fell 3 percent last year to $4.97 billion. Analysts have been grumbling for the past year about the performance of the business, which has dragged down overall results.
Earlier this month Abbott declined to comment on a Reuters report that it was considering selling a big chunk of its branded generics that have about $2 billion in annual revenue and could fetch more than $5 billion.
CFO Freyman, who did not mention the Reuters report in his remarks on Thursday, said about 40 percent of Abbott's total revenue comes from emerging markets, and that there is potential for further growth in those regions.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)