GlaxoSmithKline says annual profits triple to £5.26 bln

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said Tuesday that net profits more than tripled in 2011 compared with the previous year, as large efficiency savings offset falling revenues.

Earnings after tax surged to £5.261 billion (6.34 billion euros, $8.32 billion) in 2011, which compared with £1.634 in the previous year, GSK said in a results statement.

GSK added that it bounced back into the black in the fourth quarter, or three months to December, when net profit hit £1.25 billion. That compared with a net loss of £690 million a year earlier, when GSK took £2.17 billion in legal charges linked to its former diabetes drug Avandia.

The drug was pulled from European shelves in 2010 on fears that it increased the risk of heart attack and strokes.

GSK added Tuesday that revenues fell to £27.387 billion last year, reflecting lower sales of Avandia, anti-viral medicine Valtrex and pandemic flu vaccines.

Chief executive Andrew Witty cautioned about the fragile global economic outlook but predicted the group would increase shareholder returns this year as a result of ongoing efficiency measures.

"As we go into 2012, we are mindful of the potential pressures we face given the current global political and economic environment," Witty said in the release.

"However, we continue to expect to drive further shareholder returns as we seek to grow sales across our broadly based business and improve operational leverage and financial efficiency to deliver strong cash generation.

"We will also continue to invest appropriately in the business to generate sustainable and profitable sales growth," he added.

In early afternoon deals, GSK's share price fell 1.87 percent to 1,393 pence on London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies, which was 0.68 percent lower at 5,852.10 points.

Witty, who took the top job in 2008, has sought to diversify into consumer health care, emerging markets and biotechnology, as the pharmaceuticals industry faces competition from generic drugmakers.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

GlaxoSmithKline posts rising Q3 profits

Oct 26, 2011

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said Wednesday that third-quarter net profit rose seven percent, boosted by growth across its main pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare divisions.

GSK to take $3.4 bln Avandia legal charge

Jan 17, 2011

British drugs firm GlaxoSmithKline said Monday it expects to take a legal charge of £2.2 billion linked to its former blockbuster diabetes product Avandia, sparking a sharp drop in its shares.

Recommended for you

Were clinical trial practices in East Germany questionable?

19 hours ago

Clinical trials carried out in the former East Germany in the second half of the 20th century were not always with the full knowledge or understanding of participants with some questionable practices taking place, according ...

Schumacher's doctor sees progress after injury

Oct 23, 2014

A French physician who treated Michael Schumacher for nearly six months after the Formula One champion struck his head in a ski accident says he is no longer in a coma and predicted a possible recovery within three years.

User comments