Tonic for Abbvie on first day of trading in New York

The pharmaceutical firm Abbott Laboratories and its spin-off AbbieVie toasted a strong start to the New Year in their first day trading as an independent businesses.

Richard Gonzalez, the chairman and chief executive of AbbVie, rang the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange and both companies saw their shares rise in early trading yesterday.

After the split from the larger Abbott, Abbvie will employ 400 staff in Ireland and 21,000 people globally, with estimated annual revenues of $18bn from its products for rheumatoid arthritis and testosterone.

Mr Gonzalez said said: "AbbVie launches with an outstanding portfolio."