J&J gloomy after sales fall

US health giant Johnson and Johnson (J&J) reported a gloomy outlook for 2011 after its fourth-quarter profit was hit by a 5.5 per cent decline in sales.

Fourth-quarter profit fell 12 per cent to $1.9bn (£1.2bn), from $2.2bn in the same period in 2009, while sales revenue fell to $15.6bn from $16.5bn a year earlier.

It has struggled to recover from a series of product recalls on its over the counter medicines and is concerned about the weak global economy. J&J’s sales for the year were down 0.5 per cent at $6.1.6bn, while US sales were down 4.7 per cent.