Glaxo boosted by rising demand for its shingles vaccine and Covid-19 treatment
Glaxosmithkline has been boosted by rising demand for its shingles vaccine and treatment for Covid-19.
The drug giant said sales in the three months to the end of September were £7.8 billion, up 18 percent from a year earlier, while profits rose 18 percent to £2.6 billion.
And in a huge boost for CEO Emma Walmsley, GSK raised its revenue and profit forecasts for the second time this year.
Pain relief: In a huge boost for chief executive Emma Walmsley (pictured), GSK raised its revenue and profit forecasts for the second time this year
The FTSE 100 firm said revenue growth could reach 10 percent this year, compared to a previous forecast of 8 percent.
And profits will grow by up to 17 percent — not 15 percent as expected. It marked the second set of bumper results since Walmsley spun off its consumer health company Haleon in July to focus on new drugs and vaccines.
Sales of the Shingrix shingles vaccine rose 51 percent in the third quarter to a record £760 million, making Walmsley an ‘outstanding’ performance.
The 53-year-old added that GSK is “very excited” about its vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a disease that usually causes mild symptoms but leads to thousands of hospitalizations and deaths worldwide each year in toddlers and the elderly.
GSK is racing against Pfizer to develop a vaccine, and in a further push for Walmsley amid criticism from activist investors, GSK has a priority rating for the vaccine by the US regulator. That opens the door to the drug’s approval in May.
EToro investment analyst Mark Crouch said: “GSK has blown consensus forecasts for the third quarter, thanks in part to record sales of its shingles vaccine. These results were crucial.’
But shares fell 0.03 percent, or 0.4p, to 1445.60p, as fears remain over lawsuits over his former heartburn drug Zantac.
The once-popular drug in the US and UK, developed by GSK, was withdrawn from the market in 2019 over fears it contained a cancer-causing chemical.
The incident has resulted in more than 2,000 cases being filed in the US. GSK said yesterday it has set aside £45m for legal fees, but analysts believe its liabilities could exceed £1bn.
GSK said the trial is still “at a very early stage” and that GSK will “defend vigorously” against the claims. Walmsley said, “There is no evidence of a causal relationship between ranitidine and cancer.”