Johnson & Johnson hit by poor US sales

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Percent positive impact Over-the-counter drug

Johnson & Johnson has reported poor US sales for its first quarter, but the overall result is boosted by a stronger overseas performance and currency translations.

The personal care and healthcare giant said sales increased 4.0 percent during the period to $15.6bn, compared to a figure of $15.02bn in the same period for 2009.

The continuing sluggish retail landscape in the US meant that domestic sales during the period fell by 5.0 percent to $7.65bn, reflecting a particularly poor performance from the company’s pharmaceutical division.

International sales and currency translation boost results

International sales really boosted the picture, increasing 14.4 percent to $7.98bn, a result that reflected an 8.9 percent positive impact from currency conversions.

The company’s consumer goods division, which accounts for major personal care brands including its flagship baby care products and Petit Marseillais, registered an overall sales increase of 1.5 percent to $3.76bn.

This figure reflected a drop of 9.6 percent in US sales, to $1.56bn, counterbalanced by an increase of 11.1 per cent to $1.98bn for the division’s international performance.

Core brands help deflect recall fallback

Sales were driven by strong performances from the Neutrogena, Listerine, Petit Marseillais and Aveeno brands, which the company said helped to offset losses from the devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar and a recall of OTC products during the period.

Commenting on the results, company CEO William Weldon said that the performance was ‘solid’ despite a major recall of a number of popular OTC medicines and the continued impact of a number of patent expirations.

Net profit for the period was positively impacted by an after-tax gain of $910m, which meant the figure was up 29.1 percent to $4.52bn, but without the positive impact of the tax gain the figure was flat.

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