Abbott's quarterly profit halves as costs soar

July 20 (Reuters) - Diversified healthcare company Abbott Laboratories reported a 55 percent drop in quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt by higher costs.

The company's net profit from continuing operations fell to $270 million, or 15 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30 from $599 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total operating cost and expenses surged 37.5 percent to $6.21 billion.

However, net sales rose to $6.64 billion from $5.33 billion.

Abbott, which closed its $25 billion acquisition of St. Jude Medical in January, agreed to buy troubled diagnostics company Alere Inc for a revised value of $5.30 billion in April. (Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)