By Cecilia Butini 

GlaxoSmithKline PLC on Wednesday posted a slightly lower net profit for the third quarter despite higher sales and it raised its outlook for 2021 adjusted earnings per share.

The British pharma major said net profit for the period was 1.17 billion pounds ($1.61 billion), slightly down from $1.24 billion the year prior but beating a consensus provided by FactSet which saw the metric at GBP844 million.

Adjusted earnings per share, a closely-watched metric which leaves out some one-off items, came in at 36.6 pence for the period, also beating a FactSet consensus which saw it at 28.63 pence. Adjusted earnings per share in the same quarter the previous year were 35.60 pence.

Sales rose to GBP9.08 billion in the quarter from GBP8.65 billion the previous year, GSK said.

The company raised its outlook on adjusted earnings per share for 2021, saying it now expects the metric to decline between 2% and 4% at constant exchange rates excluding Covid-19 solutions. It had previously foreseen a mid-to-high single-digit decline.

Looking ahead, it reconfirmed the expectation for meaningful improvement in revenue and margin in 2022.

GSK also declared a dividend of 19 pence for the third quarter, continuing to expect 80 pence a share for 2021.

The company said sales in its vaccine business, especially for its shingles vaccine Shingrix, were affected by a surge in the delta coronavirus variant, which delayed the expected recovery of the shot's prescriptions in the second half of the year. Despite encouraging Shingrix prescription trends in the U.S., GSK said it revised downward its vaccine revenue guidance for 2021, saying it now foresees revenue to decline by mid-single digits. It had previously expected the metric for the division to be broadly flat.

Revenue in the pharmaceutical business is expected to grow by low-single digits in 2021, from a previous expectation of flat to low-single digit growth at constant exchange rates.

Consumer healthcare revenue is expected to grow by low to mid-single digits at constant exchange rates in 2021 with above-market growth, GSK said.

The company added that it is making progress toward the planned demerger of the consumer healthcare business in mid-2022.


Write to Cecilia Butini at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 27, 2021 08:36 ET (12:36 GMT)

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