NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported Tuesday that its fourth-quarter sales totaled $24.8 billion, reflecting growth of 10.4 percent, and 11.6 percent growth on an operational basis. (U.S. sales in the vision care segment, which includes contact lenses, increased at a similar rate in Q4, the announcement noted.) The company's adjusted operational sales growth (which excludes the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures and currency impact) came in at 12.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Net earnings in the fourth quarter totaled $4.7 billion, an increase of 172.3 percent compared with net earnings of $1.7 billion in 2020’s fourth quarter.

“Our 2021 performance reflects continued strength across all segments of our business,” the company’s new chief executive officer, Joaquin Duato, said in the announcement. “Guided by ‘our credo,’ I am honored to assume the role of CEO, leading our global teams in continuing our work to deliver life-changing solutions to consumers, patients, and health care providers. Given our strong results, financial profile, and innovative pipeline we are well positioned for success in 2022 and beyond.” J&J’s former chief executive, Alex Gorsky, has transitioned to the role of executive chairman, as part of a previously announced succession plan.

In its earnings report, J&J also increased its adjusted sales and earnings projections for the current fiscal year to operational sales growth of 7.7 percent and adjusted operational earnings per-share growth of 9.2 percent.

In its vision care business segment, J&J said U.S. sales in the fourth quarter totaled $443 million, an increase of 11.4 percent compared with the year-ago fourth quarter. This outpaced growth in the vision care business on a worldwide basis. The worldwide vision sales total was $1.17 billion in the most recent fourth quarter, an increase of 8.7 percent. International vision sales totaled $728 million, and increased at a rate of 7.2 percent.

For the full-year period, U.S. vision sales increased 19.3 percent to $1.86 billion in 2021. International vision sales rose 19.8 percent in 2021, and totaled $2.83 billion.

Sales of contact lenses in the U.S. rose 9.4 percent in the fourth quarter to $316 million, and for the full year the increase was 15.2 percent with sales totaling $1.398 billion.

For the full year, J&J said sales totaled $93.8 billion reflecting growth of 13.6 percent, and 12.2 percent growth on an operational basis. Net earnings for the year 2021 totaled $20.9 billion, an increase of almost 42 percent compared with the year-ago total of $14.7 billion.

J&J had previously said it intends to separate the company’s consumer health business from its core medical and pharmaceutical groups, creating a new publicly traded company. The planned separation would create two global leaders that are better positioned to deliver improved health outcomes for patients and consumers through innovation, pursue more targeted business strategies and accelerate growth, the company said, as VMAIL reported late last year.

On Tuesday, J&J executives noted that the company expects to complete the separation transaction by the end of 2023. In the meantime, the company will announce the consumer health company’s new name as well as its headquarters in the middle of 2022. J&J also expects to announce key leadership positions at the new consumer company some time this year.

Chief financial officer Joseph Wolk told CNBC on Tuesday that a strengthening dollar impacted sales, negatively, by approximately $150 million to $200 million. He also noted that staff shortages at hospital caused by the omicron variant led to uncertainty in the company’s medical devices business, particularly with elective procedures. The consumer health division was hit by supply constraints in raw materials, labor shortages among third-party manufacturers and higher transportation costs, he told CNBC.