Johnson & Johnson Reports 6.7 Percent Sales Increase in 2018, But Forecasts Slower Growth in 2019

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) announced Tuesday that its worldwide sales totaled $81.6 billion in 2018, an increase of 6.7 percent (or an increase of 6.3 percent on an operational basis that includes the impact of currency changes). U.S. sales increased 5.1 percent in 2018. In the fourth quarter, overall sales rose 1 percent (to $20.4 billion), with operational sales rising 3.3 percent. U.S. sales increased 1.5 percent in the quarter. Excluding the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures, on an operational basis, worldwide sales for the fourth quarter increased 5.3 percent, domestic sales increased 2.6 percent and international sales increased 8.3 percent.

Within the company’s medical devices segment (which includes vision care), worldwide sales totaled $27.0 billion for the full-year, which represented an increase of 1.5 percent. The sales total included the impact of the divestiture of J&J’s Lifescan business which negatively impacted worldwide operational sales growth by 1.4 percent.

Worldwide operational results, excluding the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures, were driven by Acuvue contact lenses and surgical products in the vision care business, among other products.

“Johnson & Johnson delivered another year of strong operational sales growth of 6.3 percent and achieved our 35th consecutive year of adjusted operational earnings growth at 9.8 percent in 2018,” chairman and chief executive officer Alex Gorsky said in the company’s announcement.

“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. 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,” he added.

In its U.S. vision business, J&J said sales fell 1.6 percent in Q4 to $426 million. On a full-year basis, the vision segment showed a sales increase of 12.8 percent (to $1.78 billion). U.S. sales of contact lenses declined 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter to $289 million, but achieved a 10.2 percent increase (to $1.24 billion) on a full-year basis.

J&J said its adjusted net earnings for the full-year of 2018 were $22.3 billion, an increase of 11.4 percent compared with 2017.

J&J also announced 2019 full-year sales guidance of $80.4 billion to $81.2 billion, which reflects operational growth in the range of 0 percent to 1.0 percent.