J&J posts earnings boost


J&J posts earnings boost
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has announced record sales of $16 billion (£8 billion) for its fourth quarter, a year-on-year increase of 16.6 per cent.

Slightly beating Wall Street expectations, the results come amid worries that reduced consumer spending is damaging retailers' sales.

"Despite challenges in certain markets, our broad base of business allowed us to achieve solid results in 2007, building our foundation of long-term profitable growth," said J&J's chief executive and chairman, William Weldon, in the update.

The maker of healthcare and pharmaceutical products was bolstered by strong year-on-year international sales up 25.8 per cent for the quarter.

According to the firm, a "positive currency impact" of 10.5 per cent gave its international sales a boost, contributing 4.7 per cent to its overall growth during the fourth quarter.

Additionally, full-year consumer sales increased 14.6 per cent to $61.1 billion (£30.55 billion), the release said, reflecting its acquisition of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

The New Jersey-based maker of prescription drugs, medical equipment and baby care products forecast earnings of $4.39 (£2.19) to $4.44 (£2.22) per share. Market watchers have predicted a similar $4.42 (£2.21) growth in earnings for 2008.

The share price for the maker of hair-loss treatment Regaine fell 1.5 per cent to $65.27 (£32.64) during yesterday's trading in New York despite the optimistic report.

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