Health care and pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson (IW 1000/18) reported a 12.5% increase in earnings for the first quarter on April 17 after seeing global sales shrink from a year earlier.
Sales fell 0.2% to $16.14 billion in the period to March 30, mainly due to a 5.1% drop in sales in the U.S. market.
International sales were up 4.1%.
But net earnings rose to $3.91 billion from $3.48 billion a year earlier, translating to a 12.8% rise in earnings per share to $1.41 from $1.25.
"We continue to bring meaningful innovations to our patients and customers through the strong performance of our recently launched products," said chief executive William Weldon.
The results were heavily driven by the trends in the company's $6.1 billion in pharmaceutical sales. In the U.S., sales in this sector slumped 10.8%, while international sales jumped 16.5% -- and 19.6% before the negative impact of currency swings.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012
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