Johnson and Johnson raises forecast for 2014

World’s biggest maker of healthcare products beat expectations

Drug division overtook devices as the firm’s biggest unit.

Johnson and Johnson, the world's biggest maker of healthcare products, beat expectations and raised its 2014 forecast by focusing on new drugs and reducing its reliance on medical devices. The drug division overtook devices as the firm's biggest unit after its sales rose 11 per cent to $7.5 billion.

The growth, the fastest among the top 10 pharmaceutical companies worldwide, obscured a drop in demand for consumer goods and sales that were essentially unchanged in devices and surgical products after the harsh winter waylaid elective medical procedures.

While quarterly sales for medicines such as Stelara for psoriasis and Zytega for prostate cancer rose, the hepatitis C drug Olysio was responsible for most of the $1 billion bump in the revenue forecast, chief financial officer Dominic Caruso said. – (Bloomberg)