Johnson & Johnson, the world's biggest health-products maker, said its profit grew 40 percent in the first quarter, beating expectations as it benefited from its diversity of consumer products and a weak dollar.

The company also raised its full-year profit forecast after strong sales of its allergy pill Zyrtec and other consumer products.

We achieved solid earnings in the first quarter which reflects our continued focus on profitable growth for Johnson & Johnson, said William C. Weldon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Our strategy of being broadly based remains one of the keys to our consistent long-term performance.

Johnson's net income for the first quarter increased to $3.6 billion, or $1.26 per share compared to a year earlier when it earned $2.57 billion, or 88 cents per share. Last year, the company's results were lower due to charges related to buying stent maker Conor MedSystems.

Analysts had expected a profit of $1.20 per share, according to a poll from Reuters Estimates.

Revenue was up 8 percent to $16.2 billion due to new products acquired from Pfizer's consumer unit. Favorable exchange rates added 5.1 percent to growth. Analysts had expected revenue of $15.85 billion.

Beyond ZyrtecAmong its biggest selling drugs, its anti-anemia product Procrit and Cypher heart stent fell 23 percent and 24 percent respectively. However its Remicade inflammatory disease treatment rose 37 percent.

Johnson raised expectations for its full year profit, increasing its per share outlook by 1 cent to a range between $4.40 and $4.45 per share.

While U.S. sales were only up 2.8 percent, international sales grew 13.7 percent.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson fell 37 cents, or 0.56 percent to $65.37 at 11:37 a.m. in New York.