Johnson & Johnson delivers a rise in revenue from its drugs

City A.M. Reporter
AMERICAN pharma and consumer goods group Johnson & Johnson beat Wall Street's quarterly profit estimates yesterday on sharply lower taxes, strong sales of prescription drugs and a revival of over-the-counter medicines that had been recalled over quality control problems.

Newer prescription medicines made big contributions to the firm’s bottom line.

And US sales of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, including painkillers Tylenol and Motrin, jumped 14 per cent, allowing the broader consumer products business to eke out a 2.4 per cent sales gain in the quarter.

“It’s a strong start to the year that increases the chances that J&J will meet its 2013 profit forecast,” Morningstar analyst Damien Conover said.

Sales at the OTC division had plunged over the last three years after J&J recalled products made at plants in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico that were shown to have foreign particles or incorrect concentrations of active ingredients.

J&J earned $3.5bn (£2.3bn), compared with $3.91bn in the year-earlier quarter.

Global company sales rose 8.5 per cent to $17.5bn, slightly higher than the $17.42bn expected by Wall Street.

They would have risen by 9.8 per cent, if not for the stronger dollar, which hurts the value of sales in overseas markets.