‘Very resilient’ consumer health brands bolster Johnson & Johnson Q3 sales lift

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Johnson & Johnson's oral care category saw particularly strong growth in Q3, with sales of its Listerine mouthwash up 10.3% (Getty Images)
Johnson & Johnson's oral care category saw particularly strong growth in Q3, with sales of its Listerine mouthwash up 10.3% (Getty Images)

Related tags Johnson & johnson financial results Oral care Skin health COVID-19

Personal care major Johnson & Johnson has reported a lift in sales for its third quarter thanks to growth in its consumer health division, drawing the firm out of its previous Q2 plunge.

This week, Johnson & Johnson reported a 1.7% rise in sales as it pulled in €17.9bn ($21bn) for the third quarter (Q3). Total net earnings soared 102% to €3bn ($3.55bn), though once adjusted to exclude tax intangible asset amortization expense and special items for both periods, net income grew 3.5% to €5bn ($5.9bn).

The company’s consumer health division generated €2.9bn ($3.5bn) in sales for Q3, up 3% overall. Sales growth across the division was particularly strong in the US, up 11.6%, and worldwide e-commerce contributed to growth.  Within the division, Listerine mouthwash and OGX skin health products performed particularly well.

Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said the Q3 results reflected a “solid performance and positive trends”​ across the business, powered by growth in consumer health, better-than-expected procedure recovery in medical devices and continued strength in pharmaceuticals.

Consumer health brands ‘very resilient’

Speaking to investors in the company’s Q3 earnings call yesterday, Thibaut Mongon, executive vice president and worldwide chairman for consumer health at Johnson & Johnson, said the company’s consumer brands had been “very resilient during this unprecedented time”, ​delivering strong operational growth overall.

“This is a testament to the strength of strategy of offering differentiated, science-based brands focused on personal health,”​ Mongon said.

“…In today’s environment, consumers globally have a heightened interest in personal health and hygiene, and it’s driving high demand for efficacious, trusted solutions backed by science, like those offered by Johnson & Johnson.”

Oral care had grown significantly, he said, with Listerine mouthwash up 10.8% due to increased global demand and successful launches in Asia-Pacific.

“In other parts of our business, like skin health and beauty, the results have been more nuanced. We have seen a negative impact of COVID-19 in categories like sun care and makeup removers, while seeing increased demand for body wash, body lotions or premium hair care,”​ Mongon said.

Johnson & Johnson 2021 strength?

Johnson & Johnson said it had “strong momentum”​ entering into 2021 and Mongon told investors the consumer health division was positioned to “grow competitively”.

“…For 2021, we expect both headwinds and tailwinds, as we saw this year, but we strongly believe that our strategy, our capabilities and our focus on execution position us very well for continued performance,” ​he said.

Of course, Mongon said there would be “ongoing fluctuation”​ in consumer demands related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but brands backed by science like those in the company’s portfolio would continue to draw interest.

Back in Q2, global sales for Johnson & Johnson dropped 10.8%, with net earnings plummeting 35%​.

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