Johnson & Johnson’s Profits Boosted by Pharmaceutical Division

Johnson & Johnson have announced an 8% rise in sales for their fourth quarter, aided by strong results from their pharmaceutical division.

The group net income for the quarter was $2.57 billion, in comparison to $218 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year, when net income was affected by charges of $2.86 billion. Turnover for the company reached $17.56 billion.

Global pharmaceutical sales increased by 7.1% to $6.53 billion.  Johnson & Johnson’s chief seller was once more the Merck & Co-partnered anti-inflammatory drug, Remicade, which had sales of $1.50 billion, an increase of 5.3%.  Merck & Co’s follow-up Simponi also brought in $181 million, up 52.1%.

Zytiga Sales Rocket

The most notable performance came from the new prostate cancer treatment, Zytiga (abiraterone), which fell just short of blockbuster status after contributing $264 million, up 73.7%.  Sales of Velcade (bortezomib) soared up 42.6% to $502 million for multiple myeloma, while Stelara (ustekinumab) for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis increased by 30.0% to $269 million.

The HIV therapy Prezista (darunavir) increased 11.7% to $353 million, while the schizophrenia drug Invega (paliperidone extended-release) grew 17.6% to $147 million; Invega Sustenna/Xeplion (paliperidone palmitate) saw sales rise by 68.9% to $212 million.

Generic drug competition meant that the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Concerta fell 11.3% to $243 million, while J&J’s anaemia therapy Procrit/Eprex (epoetin alfa) dropped 11.4% to $326 million.  Sales of Doxil/Caelyx (doxorubicin) for ovarian and other cancers, which was suspended last year due to manufacturing problems by supplier Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ben Venue unit, decreased 23.1% to $30 million.

The antipsychotic Risperdal Consta (risperidone) declined 7% to $358 million.  The organisation also noted that sales from their medical devices and diagnostics unit were up 13.7% at $7.38 billion, while turnover from their consumer division fell 0.4% to $3.65 billion.

Earnings Surpassed Analyst Expectations

Johnson & Johnson’s earnings surpassed analyst expectations.  Their prescription drug sales were up 6.8%, aided by leaps forward in cancer drugs and anti-inflammatories.

However, revenues for the organisation fell short of the forecasts for the fourth quarter.

Overall, pharmaceutical sales increased 4% to $25.4 billion; however excluding currency losses, the increase would have been 6.8%.  Most of that growth came from international markets, where sales grew 7.9% to $12.4 billion.


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