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GlaxoSmithKline posts healthy profits

Swine flu vaccine helps boost pharmaceutical and healthcare company’s profits by 16 per cent in Q1.

Pre-tax profits in Q1 were £1.93 billion and turnover was up 13 per cent to £7.36billion. Sales of its H1N1 vaccine were particularly strong andamounted to £698m, and although the threat of the pandemic is reduced, Glaxo forecast another £200m in related sales this year.

Andrew Witty, chief executive, said the diversification into emerging markets and consumer health had been successful, although sales in Western markets made up 27 per cent of Q1 sales, down from 32 per cent for the corresponding period last year. Both established and newer products helped drive growth, the company said in today's statement.

Mr Witty said the results signified "a good start to 2010" and provided "further confirmation that our strategy is working." He added that the company had increased the dividend for the quarter to 15 pence.