Johnson & Johnson profits hit by costs

Johnson's baby powder products
Image caption The company's sales were up strongly

Healthcare and pharmaceutical group Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has blamed higher costs for a fall in quarterly profits, but its latest results still beat market expectations.

For the first quarter to 31 March, net profits at the US giant fell 11% from the same period a year earlier to $3.5bn (£2.3bn).

Sales at the company rose by 8.5% to $17.5bn.

J&J described its latest quarterly results as "solid".

It added that its profits were also hit by $600m worth of one-off factors, including costs relating to its takeover of medical devices manufacturer Synthes.

J&J's brands include Listerine mouthwash and Band-Aid plasters.

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