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Johnson & Johnson hit by fall in 2015 sales

Published on 27/01/16 at 10:00am
J&J front

Full year sales at the healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson fell by 6% in 2015, to just over $70 billion, the company’s latest set of financial results show.

The decline across the group set the scene for falling sales in the company’s pharmaceutical division, Janssen.  Worldwide pharmaceutical sales were $31.4 billion for the full-year 2015, representing a decrease of 2.7% compared with 2014, and a negative impact from currency of 6.9%.

However the firm remained upbeat, adding that “excluding the net impact of acquisitions, divestitures and hepatitis C sales, on an operational basis, worldwide sales increased 11.0%, domestic sales increased 18.1% and international sales increased 3.3%.”

The firm appears to have conceded defeat in its battle with rival hepatitis C treatment makers, and acknowledges that while “worldwide operational sales growth was driven by new products and the strength of core products... New product sales growth was negatively impacted by lower sales of Olysio (simeprevir) due to competitive entrants,” – namely Gilead’s Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), and new hepatitis treatments from AbbVie and Bristol Myers Squibb.

Type 2 diabetes treatments Invokana (canagliflozin), blood cancer treatment Imbruvica (ibrutinib), the anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban), and Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) for prostate cancer, were all name-checked as strong Janssen sellers in 2015.

The firm is looking to newly-approved drugs, including FDA-recommended Darzalex (daratumumab) for double refractory multiple myeloma and Yondelis (trabectedin) for liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma, and the European Commission-approved Edurant (rilpiravine), which is now available for adolescents with HIV, as sources of potential future revenue.

The medical devices unit, which was recently the subject of an announcement of up to 3,000 job losses – as much as 6% of the workforce – also fared badly. Worldwide sales fell by 8.7%, to $25.1 billion.

"Johnson & Johnson delivered strong underlying growth in 2015, driven by the performance of our Pharmaceutical business and iconic consumer brands,” says Alex Gorsky, chairman and chief executive.  “As we enter 2016, our core business is very healthy, and the recent decisive actions we’ve taken in support of each of our businesses position us well to drive sustainable long-term growth, faster than the markets we compete in.”

Gorsky continued: “I want to thank all of our colleagues for contributing to these results through their commitment and dedication to the people around the world who rely on our products.”

Lilian Anekwe

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