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 NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) announced today that employees at its New Brunswick headquarters are being offered a voluntary early retirement program as part of its continuing efforts to contain costs. The company said that the eligibility requirements for employees include being at least 50 years old and having seven years of service to qualify for enhanced benefits.
 In addition, management of the 28 Johnson & Johnson operating subsidiaries in the United States are currently considering whether to offer the program to qualified employees at their companies. Decisions by individual subsidiaries and implementation of those plans will take place between now and early 1994. It is expected that some subsidiaries will offer the plan and others will not.
 Current estimates are that approximately 1000 employees at the corporate headquarters office and the operating subsidiaries will take advantage of the program.
 The voluntary early retirement program is the latest in a series of initiatives in recent years to increase efficiency and reduce costs within the Company. These have included the creation of programs to share administrative, financial and information services among companies and locations, mergers of operating companies, consolidation of manufacturing locations for similar products, and others.
 Such programs being implemented this year are expected to eliminate another 2,000 jobs in addition to the 1,000 announced today. In the United States, these include restructuring of Ethicon, Inc., merging two pharmaceutical companies to form Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, and reducing the Ethicon Endo-Surgery headquarters staff. Internationally, they include closing the sanitary protection product manufacturing facility in France, a diaper plant in Brazil, and consolidating several medical device businesses in Europe.
 The estimated cost of the program announced today and these other actions is approximately $200 million pretax, and has been provided for in the previously disclosed reserve for FASB No. 112, "Employers' Accounting for Post-Employment Benefits," adopted by the company in 1992. The cost of these actions, primarily salary continuation payments, will not result in a special charge to consolidated earnings in 1993. The estimated annual savings expected to be generated by these programs exceed $100 million after tax.
 Ralph S. Larsen, chairman and chief executive officer stated: "Our objective is to provide our customers with high quality products that represent good value and which help lower the cost of health care. To do that, we intend to continue to invest heavily in research and development while working hard to control costs.
 "At Johnson & Johnson, our strength is introducing new products and speeding their delivery to the global marketplace. In fact, nearly 35 percent of our 1992 revenues were generated by products introduced in just the last five years such as ACUVUE contact lenses, ONE TOUCH II glucose monitoring devices, Ethicon Endo-Surgery products for less- invasive surgery and many new ethical drugs including the anti-anemia drug PROCRIT. New product introductions continued this year including the gastrointestinal drug PROPULSID and the leukemia drug LEUSTATIN. We plan to sustain that new product growth while maintaining financial control of our organizational costs. We are acting now, when our business is solid and growing, as part of that objective".
 During the past three years, Johnson & Johnson's sales have grown at an annual compounded rate of more than 12 percent, while the number of employees has increased by less than 1 percent per year. Johnson & Johnson has approximately 40,000 employees in the United States and 84,000 worldwide. The company is the largest and most comprehensive manufacturer of health care products serving the consumer, pharmaceutical, diagnostic and professional markets. Sales in 1992 were $13.8 billion and net income was $1.6 billion before the cumulative effect of accounting changes for income taxes and for post-retirement and post-employment benefits. Earnings per share grew at an annual rate of 15.9 percent during the past five years, excluding the 1992 accounting charges, and the return on equity reached a record 28.5 percent at
year end 1992. Earnings per share rose 12.5 percent for the first six months of 1993, before the 1992 accounting charges.
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 /CONTACT: F. Robert Kniffin, 908-524-3535, or home, 609-799-0369, or investors, Clarence E. Lockett, 908-524-6491, or home, 215-493-0757, both of Johnson & Johnson/

CO: Johnson & Johnson ST: New Jersey IN: HEA SU:

SM -- NY021 -- 1533 08/11/93 09:14 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 11, 1993

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