Drugs giant GSK reports slump in profits

27th April 2016, Comments 0 comments

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline announced Wednesday that net profits collapsed in the first quarter, after failing to repeat an exceptional gain earned one year earlier.

Earnings after tax nosedived by 97 percent to £282 million ($410 million, 363 million euros) in the three months to the end of March, GSK said in a result statement.

That compared with a vast net profit of £8.0 billion in the same part of 2015, when earnings were boosted by a vast exceptional gain following a deal with Swiss peer Novartis.

The group added Wednesday that operating profit, which strips out tax and other items such as interest payments, jumped 19 percent to almost £1.6 billion, driven by sales of its HIV drugs and the weaker British pound.

GSK agreed in 2014 to sell its oncology business to Novartis for $16 billion, while buying the Swiss group's vaccines division in return, in a transaction that completed early last year.

The pair also formed a joint venture for consumer health products.

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© 2016 AFP

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