HIV pills and new lung drugs keep GSK on track in third-quarter
GlaxoSmithKline grew sales 4 percent in the third quarter, helped by demand for new products, keeping it on track to deliver on full-year financial targets as new Chief Executive Emma Walmsley refocuses the drugs pipeline.
Britain`s biggest drugmaker reported a 3 percent rise in adjusted earnings per share to 32.5 pence on sales of 7.84 billion pounds ($10.38 billion). Analysts, on average, had forecast 31.8p and 7.88 billion pounds, according to Thomson Reuters data.
At constant exchange rates, GSK`s preferred measure, 2017 earnings are expected to grow by between 3 and 5 percent, the company reiterated on Wednesday.
GSK saw strong demand for HIV medicines and improved uptake of new respiratory drugs, while the failure of generic companies to win U.S. approval so far for copies of ageing lung inhaler Advair also helped. Analysts now expect U.S. generics in 2018.
Growth in the group`s big consumer health division was better than some analysts had feared but vaccine sales were flat.
Walmsley, who took over in April, has promised to improve drug research productivity by narrowing GSK`s focus on key areas like HIV and respiratory medicine. The company has lagged rivals in producing multibillion-dollar blockbusters in recent years.
Her near-term focus, however, is the launch of a trio of new products. The first two of these, a shingles vaccine and a three-in-one lung drug, have already won regulatory approval and the third, a dual-drug regimen for HIV, could get a U.S. green light by Dec. 1.
The committee responsible for U.S. vaccination schedules will vote later on Wednesday on how widely GSK`s shingles shot Shingrix should be used among millions of potentially eligible older Americans.
GSK has been helped since June 2016 by a weaker pound, which has inflated overseas income. However, the currency boost dissipated in the third quarter with the passing of the first anniversary of the Brexit referendum.
($1 = 0.7551 pounds)
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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