Global healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) on Tuesday predicted slower sales growth in 2019 despite beating expectations for the fourth quarter of 2018.
J&J, the first major medical manufacturer to report earnings for the fourth quarter, had sales of $20.4 billion, beating analysts’ predictions of $20.2 billion.
Cancer drugs and psoriasis treatments propelled sales, while sales of its signature baby products and other consumer goods showed slight improvement.
The company’s pharmaceutical unit, which accounts for almost half of its revenue, saw 2.8 per cent year-over-year growth in the U.S. and 13.7 per cent growth internationally in the fourth-quarter.
“Johnson & Johnson delivered another year of strong operational sales growth of 6.3 per cent and achieved our 35th consecutive year of adjusted operational earnings growth at 9.8 per cent in 2018. This can be attributed to accelerated underlying sales performance across each of our businesses, where we also leveraged our scale across the enterprise to improve margins,” said Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“Looking ahead, the strength of our broad-based business and disciplined approach to portfolio management positions us to continue to fuel investments in innovation that enable us to capitalize on strategic opportunities and deliver strong performance over the long-term.”
J&J said that sales will grow slowly this year, with overall revenue expected to rise by just 0 to 1 per cent in 2019. The FMCG giant forecast 2019 earnings of between $8.50 and $8.65 per share and revenue in the range of $80.4 billion to $81.2 billion.
In December the company was shook by a Reuters report which alleged that the company knew about traces of asbestos in it’s baby powder for decades.