GSK sees strong growth as respiratory, cancer portfolio to pay off By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) logo is seen in this illustration, August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) -GSK beat market estimates for fourth-quarter results on Wednesday, and unveiled an upbeat forecast for 2024 and beyond, as the drugmaker ramps up its vaccines, infectious disease and cancer drug pipeline.

This is the company’s first annual earnings report after it spun off consumer healthcare business Haleon in July 2022.

Since then, the London-listed firm has sharpened focus on vaccines and infectious diseases and with the $7 billion generated by the spin-off, GSK has sought to bolster its drug pipeline.

Moreover, a strong uptake of GSK’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine Arexvy is seen as a growth driver, stemming market worries about the strength of its pipeline of drugs in development and costly U.S. litigation over discontinued heartburn drug Zantac.

Arexvy clocked sales of 1.24 billion pounds for the year ended Dec. 31, following a second-half launch.

“We are now planning for at least 12 major launches from 2025, with new Vaccines and Specialty Medicines for infectious diseases, HIV, respiratory and oncology,” CEO Emma Walmsley said in a statement.

GSK expects its adjusted profit per share to increase between 6% and 9% in 2024, on sales growth of 5%-7%, which is comfortably above analysts’ expectations for growth, according to a company-supplied poll.

The company also expects sales to grow more than 7% annually by 2026, compared with 5% forecast earlier.

It reported a profit of 28.9 pence per share on sales of 8.05 billion pounds ($10.20 billion), compared with analysts’ average expectations of 28.63 pence profit on sales of 7.29 billion pounds, according to LSEG data.

($1 = 0.7892 pounds)

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