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J&J gets pharma Q2 results off to a flying start

OTC recovery and Synthes acquisition help boost sales performance

Johnson & Johnson headquarters

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) kicked of the interim results season by reporting a healthy 8.5 per cent rise in second quarter sales thanks to a recovery in over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical and strong sales of new drug products.

Overall sales came in at to $17.9bn, ahead of forecasts, with the prescription drug business rising nearly 12 per cent to $7bn and OTC up 5 per cent on the same period of 2012 as J&J continues to recover from manufacturing quality lapses and product recalls at its McNeil Consumer Healthcare division.

J&J's flagship immunotherapy product Remicade (infliximab) saw sales rise 10 per cent to $1.67bn, but newer products led the charge in terms of growth.

Stelara (ustekinumab) for psoriasis rose 50 per cent to $371m in the quarter, while prostate cancer treatment Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) and hepatitis C treatment Incivo (telaprevir) both advanced around 70 per cent to $395m and $172m, respectively.

Meanwhile, medical device revenues were up 9.6 per cent to $7.2bn, helped by the recent acquisition of Synthes, and overall sales of consumer health products (which included OTC pharma and nutritionals) edged up 1.1 per cent to $3.66bn.

"At the mid-year point, we have achieved strong growth across our enterprise," said chief executive Alex Gorsky who took over the helm of J&J last year.

He said the gains were made thanks to progress in "restoring a reliable supply of OTC products to consumers, continuing the successful integration of Synthes and building on the strong momentum in our pharmaceutical business".

Net earnings were well up on the prior year at $3.8bn or $1.33 per share, but were flattered by a $213m gain from the sale of shares in Elan during the quarter and tough time in 2012 which saw the company take charges of $2.2bn.

Raised forecasts for 2013
J&J increased its earnings guidance for the year to between $5.40 and $5.47 per share from $5.35-$5.45, a move which Gorsky said stemmed not only the successful launch of its new products but also success in securing access to them in national healthcare tenders around the world.

The improved performance does not result from any significant improvement in the operating environment for pharma companies in terms of the utilisation trends for medicines, added J&J's chief financial officer Dominic Caruso.

17th July 2013

From: Sales

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