Profits up for GSK

Posted on 28 Oct 2009 by The Manufacturer

British drug making giant GlaxoSmithKline has announced a leap in its quarterly profits off the back of strong sales in emerging markets and the weak value of sterling.

Pre-tax profits for Q3 were £1.91bn while turnover was £6.76bn. These figures are 23 per cent and 15 per cent higher than in the same period in 2008.

Net profits for the July to September period were £1.335 billion – a 30 per cent rise on the previous quarter.

Emerging markets now account for 14 per cent of GSK’s total sales. “We are seeing direct evidence of success in our strategy to grow and diversify the business away from a dependency on ‘white pill/western markets’,” said chief executive Andrew Witty.

And GSK’s books stand to look healthier still after quarter four when it expects to begin reaping the rewards of the 440 million dose orders it has for its Pandemrix swine flu vaccine.

The US market remains challenging though, owing to increased competition for the supply of generic drugs and pricing pressures introduced by the US healthcare reforms. Witty said the company is adapting itself to fit the changed market and will be releasing new products in the area.

“It is clear that improvements in performance for our US business will take time; however, I do expect that the changes within our product portfolio and the outputs of our restructuring programme will become increasingly evident,” he said.

Next month GSK will begin marketing Lucozade in China for the first time after reaching a deal with a distributor.