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GlaxoSmithKline posts £1bn profits in second-quarter

Bribery allegations may affect future sales in China, says CEO Andrew Witty.

British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has posted a profit of £1.08bn for the second-quarter of 2013, compared to £1.3bn for the same period last year.

Turnover increased by 2 per cent to £6.61bn from £6.46bn in 2012, while operating profit declined to £1.43bn from £1.71bn last year.

During the quarter, pharmaceuticals and vaccines sales grew by 1 per cent. Region-wise, the US registered a growth if 5 per cent with strong sales in respiratory, oncology and vaccines.

Sales in Europe remained flat, and declined 5 per cent in Japan, while in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific (EMAP) area, it grew by 2 per cent,. Consumer Healthcare division registered a sales growth of 2 per cent during the quarter.

The company received three major regulatory approvals in the US including Breo Ellipta for COPD, Tafinlar and Mekinist monotherapies for metastatic melanoma.

Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK, said: This quarter has seen significant further progress in delivering against this strategy. We saw particularly encouraging progress in delivery of our late stage pipeline with approvals received in the United States for Breo Ellipta for COPD and two new treatments for metastatic melanoma, Tafinlar and Mekinist.

“We now have received approvals for three of the six key assets we recently filed with regulators. With Phase III data expected on 13 assets during 2013/2014, I remain confident of R&D’s productivity and our ability to deliver valuable new product flow on a sustainable basis.”

Commenting on the company’s recent bribery allegations in China, Witty said: “Clearly, we are likely to see some impact to our performance in China as a result of the current investigation, but it is too early to quantify the extent of this. We are co-operating fully with the Chinese authorities in this matter.”

Earlier this month, the Chinese police found evidence that the British drug maker used more than 700 travel agencies since 2007 to pay bribes to the country’s officials and doctors in order to boost its sales.