Britain's GSK delivered better-than-expected third-quarter results on Wednesday and raised its annual profit outlook, boosted by strong sales of key drugs and cost cutting ahead of a planned split next year.
The drugmaker now expects 2021 adjusted earnings per share to decline by between 2% and 4% at constant exchange rates, excluding any boost from its COVID-19 offerings. GSK previously expected profit to fall by mid-to-high single digit percentages.
Turnover at the world's biggest vaccine maker by sales rose 5% to 9.07 billion pounds ($12.5 billion) for the three months to Sept. 30, while adjusted earnings were up 3% to 36.6 pence per share.
Analysts had expected third-quarter earnings of 29.4 pence per share on sales of 8.73 billion pounds, a company-compiled consensus https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/investors/analyst-consensus/analyst-consensus showed.
GSK stuck by its plan to spin off its consumer health business in 2022, after a report the unit could attract bids from private equity firms.
Activist investors Elliott and Bluebell have called for a sale of the unit, among other proposals for "New GSK," including leadership changes.
"We also continue to make excellent progress towards unlocking the value of Consumer Healthcare through a successful demerger in mid-2022," GSK CEO Emma Walmsley said in Wednesday's results statement. ($1 = 0.7272 pounds)
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