Elan said it has recorded operating profits, before other charges and gains, for the first time since 2001.
The company said revenues grew by 5pc to $1.2bn, led by an 18pc increase in revenues from multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri.
It said the revenue increase was combined with a 9pc decrease in operating expenses which was a 'significant improvement' of 73pc to $166.5m, in adjusted earnings.
Elan said it generated cash from operating activities in each of the four quarters of 2010 and managed to reduce total debt by 17pc.
While the results reflect an improved operating performance, the net loss for the year increased from $176.2m to $324.7m which Elan said was mainly a result of a settlement agreement it reached with the US government regarding its Zonegran epilepsy drug. The company said for this it put aside a reserve charge of $206.3m.
Elan CEO, Kelly Martin, commented, "2010 was a year of tangible advancement for Elan with demonstrated progress in both the BioNeurology and EDT businesses.
"Revenue growth combined with prudent and disciplined cost management enabled us to achieve our goal of operating profitability before other charges and gains.
"This, combined with a further de-leveraging of the balance sheet provided enhanced operating leverage from an overall performance point of view."
Mr. Martin added, "In 2011, we will continue to focus our efforts on the continuous improvement of operating performance while simultaneously investing in and advancing science and therapeutics that may ultimately be of benefit to patients and their families."