Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline posted revenue gains in all three of its major businesses as new CEO Emma Walmsley noted that selling pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer products is an advantage given the drug industry’s volatility.
But Walmsley stressed that GSK’s pharmaceutical unit is the key to future growth.
Walmsley, who took over as CEO ithis month, was quoted by Bloomberg News as telling reporters: “Our focus has to be around strengthening the pipeline in all three businesses, but the priority is in the pharma business.”
Walmsley headed GSK’s over-the-counter products division before becoming CEO.
First-quarter revenue totaled $9.23 billion, up 19 percent, or 5 percent after adjusting for currency fluctuations. The weak British pound buoyed the results of the London-based company, which is among the Triangle’s largest employers.
U.S. sales did even better. They rose 26 percent, or 11 percent after currency fluctuations, powered by the company’s portfolio of HIV drugs and its new respiratory products.
Adjusted profit rose 31 percent on a per-share basis, or 9 percent after currency adjustments, in the quarter.
The company repeated its earlier caution that profit growth could be flat this year if a generic version of its blockbuster asthma drug Advair win approval from U.S. regulators.
GSK’s American depositary receipts, which are akin to stock, closed Wednesday at $40.68, down 80 cents. Its ADRs have risen 6 percent this year.