GSK sees rise in sales of vaccines, healthcare products

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline says higher sales of vaccines and consumer healthcare products pushed up its earnings from core business by 19 percent in the first quarter.

Core operating profit, which excludes taxes, one-time items and restructuring costs, rose to 1.56 billion pounds ($2.28 billion) from 1.31 billion pounds in the same quarter a year earlier.

Sales of vaccines rose 23 percent to 882 million pounds and of consumer healthcare increased 26 percent to 1.76 billion pounds. Pharmaceutical sales fell 1 percent to 3.59 billion pounds, hurt by competition for the Advair asthma treatment.

Like many big companies, GSK is struggling to develop new blockbuster drugs as older treatments lose patent protection.

Chief Executive Andrew Witty says the results demonstrate the momentum across the group "driven by growth in sales of our new products, effective cost control and execution of our restructuring and integration plans."

Net income, which includes all income and expenses, fell 97 percent to 282 million pounds after the company reported a 9.3 billion pound gain on the sale of its oncology unit and other assets in the first quarter of 2015.


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