Johnson & Johnson profit

January 20, 2009 12:35:43 PM PST
Health care products maker Johnson & Johnson has posted a 14 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit. The results topped Wall Street forecasts, as big one-time gains offset slumping sales.

The maker of baby shampoo, contraceptives, medical devices and other health items forecast weaker results in 2009, blaming the global recession, unfavorable currency exchange rates and intensified competition for key products.

Chairman and CEO William Weldon said J&J's fourth-quarter revenues were reduced across the board by the global recession, as people worried about unemployment and losing health insurance cut back on doctor visits, elective surgery and use of prescription medicines. He noted that sales of consumer items such as contact lens supplies and diabetes test strips have fallen as "consumers are becoming more frugal."