Johnson & Johnson raised its annual profit forecast yesterday after strength in its Pharmaceuticals unit helped cushion falling in sales in its Consumer Health and Medical Devices divisions.

The healthcare conglomerate, which is among several companies racing to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, saw its total second-quarter sales decline 10.8% to $18.34bn due to the negative impact of the pandemic. Net earnings fell 35.3% to $3.62bn.

Excluding the effects of acquisitions and divestitures, J&J’s Consumer Health unit saw sales decline by 3.4% to $3.30bn as the crisis impacted demand for its skin health & beauty care products, women’s health care lines and baby care products. This was partially offset by growth in OTC products including its Tylenol analgesics, digestive health products and Zarbee’s Naturals, and Listerine mouthwash.

Meanwhile, sales in J&J’s Medical Devices division tumbled by 32.5% to $4.29bn as hospitals and patients delayed non-urgent procedures in hospitals.

However, these falls were partly offset by a strong performance in the group’s main pharmaceuticals business, where sales grew 3.9% to $10.75bn amid strong demand for several of its key treatments.

“Our second-quarter results reflect the impact of COVID-19 and the enduring strength of our Pharmaceutical business, where we saw continued growth even in this environment,” said Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“Thanks to the tireless work of our colleagues around the world and our broad range of capabilities, we continue to successfully navigate the external landscape, and we remain focused on advancing the development of a vaccine to help address this pandemic and save lives.”