Johnson & Johnson has unveiled a 14% rise in net income for the fourth quarter to $2.71 billion, though the rise was due principally to cost-cutting and definitely not drugs sales.

Group turnover was down 4.9% to $15.18 billion and worldwide pharmaceutical sales reached $5.69 billion, a fall of 11.1%. J&J’s biggest seller was once again the anti-inflammatory Remicade (infliximab), sales of which slipped 2.4% to $886 million.

Turnover from the antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone) collapsed 67.4% to $285 million, as generic competition tore into US sales of the blockbuster (down 84% to $91 million). However, the longer-acting form of the drug, Risperdal Consta, enjoyed an 8.1% increase in sales to $319 million.

There was bad news as well for J&J’s anaemia therapy Procrit/Eprex (epoetin alfa), which fell 10.8% to $560 million, hurt by continued concerns over cardiovascular safety for the entire erythropoiesis-stimulating class of drugs. The anti-infective Levaquin/Floxin (levofloxacin) decreased 3.6% to $351 million, while sales of the Alzheimer’s disease drug Reminyl/Razadyne (galantamine) sank 27.7% to $102 million.

On the positive side, the epilepsy drug Topamax (topiramate) brought in $680 million, a rise of 4.3%, while Velcade (bortezomib), for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma, shot up 26.1% to $208 million. However, turnover from the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder therapy Concerta (methylphenidate) slipped 3.1% to $280 million.

As for its other divisions, medical devices and diagnostics sales reached $5.64 billion, a 1.9% decrease, while turnover from the consumer division edged up 1.2% to $3.86 billion. Overall, the results worried analysts who were also disappointed with J&J’s flat 2009 earnings guidance of $4.45-$4.55 per share. The forecast reflects continued pressure from generic competitors as well as unfavourable currency exchanges, the company said.