Johnson & Johnson reports annual sales decrease despite Q4 improvement

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care Personal care brands Johnson & johnson

Consumer giant Johnson & Johnson has reported an annual sales decrease despite better-than-expected fourth quarter results helped by an increase in sales across key personal care brands.

The New Jersey based company recorded fourth quarter sales of $16.6bn, a rise of 9 percent compared with the same period in 2008.

Despite this increase, the full-year results of $61.9bn represented a fall of 2.9 percent on 2008.

Growth in sales for personal care brands

Sales across the consumer goods sector also decreased for the full year, dropping 1.6 percent to $15.8bn.

However, several personal care brands in Johnson & Johnson’s portfolio performed strongly, defying the economic downturn.

In a conference call held by company vice president Louise Mehrotra, it was reported that sales of the oral care product Listerine increased by 7 percent and Neutrogena sales witnessed a similar increase of 6 percent.

Aveeno tipped for strong future growth

The strongest performing brand in the personal care segment was Aveeno, with increased sales of 12 percent for the 2009 fiscal year.

Averno’s history of innovation since it was acquired by Johnson & Johnson means it is well positioned for future growth, the company said.

Recently, the brand has expanded into new product areas and markets, through the launch of the brand in Russia, and the launch of its Nourish + hair collection marking its début into the hair care market.

Positive outlook for 2010

Although last year was challenging for the company, it maintained its long term focus while delivering solid results, according to Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO William C. Weldon.

“We made important investments in acquisitions, made strategic partnerships and launches of recently-approved innovative products while preserving our financial flexibility to continue to invest in innovation,” ​he said in a statement.

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