Johnson & Johnson reports first sales decline in India since 2002

Johnson & Johnson filed a three percent decline in revenue for the 2018 financial year marking the brand’s first in the country since 2002. Profits did increase by 18 percent but the brand’s market share dwindled.

Johnson & Johnson saw revenue decline during the last financial year in India

The personal care brand’s revenue stood at Rs 5,828 crore ($876 million) in the 2018 financial year, down three percent down from the 2017 financial year, according to financial documents filed with the Registrar of Companies and accessed by the Economic Times. Although profit increased by 18 percent, the brand’s consumer business declined with revenue from products including its talcum powder, shampoo, and other personal care items falling to Rs 3,092 crore during the 2018 financial year.

The brand had been enjoying between ten and 15 percent yearly expansion for the past ten years in India but this growth has started to slow down. The business is currently fighting to regain consumer trust after its talcum powder was tested by Indian authorities for compliance to India’s Drugs and Cosmetics Rules for traces of asbestos.

Johnson & Johnson currently has around a 75 percent market share of India’s Rs 4,000 crore baby care sector but with brands like Chicco and Himalaya expanding in the country, the market is becoming more competitive.

The business first found itself in hot water in India when a Maharashtra drug regulator cancelled its licence in 2014 after finding that its baby talcum powder was sterilised using the carcinogenic chemical ethylene oxide. The Reuters report on Johnson & Johnson last year also stated that the business had covered up the presence of asbestos in its talcum powder. Although the business has consistently denied this, the scandal has not helped it win trust.

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