(Reuters) -Abbott Laboratories’ quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimate, aided by robust sales of COVID-19 test kits due to the spread of the Omicron variant and strong demand for its diagnostics products.

Abbott said it expects $2.5 billion from COVID-19 test kits in the early part of this year. The company will update its test kit estimates on a quarterly basis.

The Illinois-based company posted $2.3 billion in COVID test sales for the fourth quarter, marginally lower than the $2.4 billion it reported a year ago.

The company had previously expected coronavirus test-related sales to be between $1.0 billion and $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter.

Abbott forecast 2022 adjusted earnings from continuing operations of at least $4.70 per share.

The company’s net earnings fell to $1.99 billion, or $1.11 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from $2.16 billion, $1.20 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Abbott earned $1.32 per share, beating estimates of $1.21, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Total sales were $11.5 billion, higher than the $10.7 billion estimated by analysts.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo; Editing by Maju Samuel)