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Johnson & Johnson Net Up By 29.1% To US$ 4.5 Billion In Q1

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has posted strong growth in net profit during the first quarter ended March 2010. Its net profit went up by 29.1 per cent to US$ 4,526 million from US$ 3,507 million in the similar period of last year. Its sales increased by 4 per cent to US$ 15,631 million from US$ 15,026 million.

The company updated its earnings guidance for full-year 2010 to US$ 4.80 to US$ 4.90 per share to reflect recent changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Earnings guidance excludes the impact of special items and now incorporates the impact of recently enacted health care reform legislation.

“Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our people, we were able to deliver solid financial results,” said William C Weldon, chairman and CEO “This was accomplished despite a major product recall and the continued impact of patent expirations. We are well positioned for future growth.”

Worldwide pharmaceutical sales declined by 2.5 per cent to US$ 5,638 million for the first quarter from US$ 5,780 million in the last period. Its US (domestic) sales decreased by 12.7 per cent to US$ 3,206 million. However, J&J's international pharma sales increased by 15.5 per cent to US$ 2,432 million.

Products with strong operational growth included Remicade (infliximab), a biologic approved for the treatment of a number of immune mediated inflammatory diseases; Prezista (darunavir), a treatment for HIV; Velcade (bortezomib), a treatment for multiple myeloma; and international sales of Risperdal Consta (risperidone) long-acting treatment, an antipsychotic medication. Strong growth was also achieved from newly launched products including Stelara (ustekinumab), a biologic approved for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis; and Simponi (golimumab), a biologic approved to treat adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Sales results of Topamax (topiramate), an antiepileptic and a treatment for migraine, and Risperdal (risperidone), an antipsychotic medication, were negatively impacted by generic competition.

Worldwide medical devices and diagnostics sales moved up by 12.5 per cent to US$ 6,227 million for the first quarter versus the prior year of US$ 5,535 million. Its US sales increased 8.8 per cent to US$ 2,886 million; international sales increased by 15.9 per cent to US$ 3,341 million.

Primary contributors to operational growth included Ethicon’s surgical care products; DePuy’s orthopaedic joint reconstruction and sports medicine businesses; Ethicon Endo-Surgery’s minimally invasive products and Advanced Sterilization Products’ infection prevention solutions; and Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics’ professional products. This growth was partially offset by lower sales in the Cordis franchise, reflecting continued competition in the drug-eluting stent market.

During the quarter, the company filed for CE Mark in Europe for its Nevo Sirolimus-Eluting Coronary Stent, the first drug-eluting stent to utilize Res Technology, eliminating the need for surface coated and permanent polymers.

J&J's worldwide consumer sales increased by 1.5 per cent to US$ 3,766 million for the first quarter from US$ 3,711 million. Its US sales decreased by 9.6 per cent to US$ 1,560 million from US$ 1,726 million. Positive contributors to operational results were Neutrogen, Aveeno and Le Pettt Marshillais skin care products; Zyrtec over-the-counter allergy treatment; international sales of Listerine antiseptic mouthrinse; and women’s sanitary protection products. These operational sales increases were more than offset by the impact of the previously announced recall of selected OTC products as well as the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency.

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