Johnson & Johnson pencils in €2.1bn in Covid-19 vaccine sales

Pharma giant raises forecasts for full-year sales and profits after strong second quarter

 J&J reported $164m in coronavirus vaccine sales for the second quarter. File photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

J&J reported $164m in coronavirus vaccine sales for the second quarter. File photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

 

Pharma group Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday forecast $2.5 billion (€2.1 billion) in sales of its one-shot Covid-19 vaccine this year based on the current price of $5 per dose and said that could rise to $8 a dose by the end of the year.

The company now expects to produce between 500 million and 600 million doses of its vaccine this year, chief financial officer Joseph Wolk told CNBC on Wednesday. Manufacturing problems derailed its original goal of producing a billion shots this year.

J&J reported $164 million in Covid-19 vaccine sales for the second quarter, bringing total sales to $264 million so far.

While the J&J shot was authorised in the United States just a few months after those from Pfizer and Moderna were cleared, its vaccine sales outlook pales in comparison and reflects the widening gap in the global vaccine race.

Pfizer and Moderna have forecast $26 billion and $19.2 billion in annual sales of their vaccines, respectively.

Lower demand

Analysts have said that lower demand for J&J’s vaccine should not affect the enormous company’s overall financials. Revenue for all the vaccines could jump if health officials determine a round of booster shots is needed should evidence show Covid-19 immunity is waning.

“It is simply too early to provide specific information on a 2022 outlook for our Covid-19 vaccine given the uncertainty on the need for boosters and new variants,” said Mr Wolk on a call with analysts.

The J&J vaccine appears to be durable for at least eight months and effective against prevalent coronavirus variants, Mr Wolk said, citing recently published data from laboratory studies.

Because of its one-dose convenience and less onerous storage and shipping requirements, J&J’s shot was once touted as an important tool for vaccinations in hard-to-reach areas. But after safety concerns and manufacturing stumbles, it has the lowest uptake in Europe among all the vaccines approved for use, and has also struggled to gain traction in United States.

Raised expectations

J&J raised its expectations for overall full-year sales, encouraged by a recovery in sales at its medical devices unit and higher demand for treatments such as psoriasis and Crohn’s disease drug Stelara.

The company now expects annual sales in a range of $93.8 billion to $94.6 billion including vaccine revenue, up from a prior forecast of $90.6 billion and $91.6 billion. The healthcare giant boosted its profit forecast to $9.60 to $9.70 a share, up from as much as $9.57.

Sales at the company’s medical devices unit rose 62.7 per cent to $6.98 billion, boosting its second-quarter numbers. Across the group, revenue came in at $23.3 billion, beating Wall Street’s expectations.

J&J earned $2.48 per share, also beating analysts’ average estimate of $2.27 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. – Reuters/Bloomberg

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