(Alliance News) - GlaxoSmithKline PLC on Wednesday said its profit rose almost 50% in the first half of the year due to strong performances from its Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare divisions.
Glaxo also upgraded it guidance and now expects 2019 adjusted earnings per share to decline by between 3% and 5% at constant currency, having previously forecast 5% to 9% decline.
The pharma giant posted pretax profit of GBP2.56 billion for the six months to June 30, up 49% from GBP1.72 billion the year before. Adjusted earnings per share for the period stood at 60.6 pence versus 52.7p a year ago.
Revenue was GBP15.47 billion, a 6.5% increase from GBP14.53 billion in the first half of 2018, with Respiratory sales boosted by drugs Trelegy Ellipta and Nucala.
Moreover, shingles vaccine Shingrix and the company's meningitis vaccines boosted overall Vaccines revenue, with a 23% increase in second quarter Vaccines revenue at constant currency.
In the second quarter as a whole, Glaxo reported a profit of GBP1.26 billion on revenue of GBP7.81 billion. This was more than twice its profit of GBP614 million in the same quarter of 2018 and a 6.8% increase in revenue from GBP7.31. Adjusted earnings per share amounted to 30.5p versus 28.1p.
The company maintained its quarterly dividend at 19p per share, in line with its goal of maintaining 80p per share dividend for the year.
Looking ahead, should exchange rates be maintained at current levels, the company expects a positive 2% boost to revenue growth. If exchange rates were at the same level at 2018, the positive impact to adjusted earnings per share growth would be approximately 4%.
Glaxo Chief Executive Emma Walmsley said: "GSK delivered continued good operating performance in Q2 despite the loss of exclusivity of Advair. We are increasing our expectations for the year and have updated our guidance for 2019."
"We remain focused on strengthening our R&D pipeline and the execution of new product launches. Positive clinical data received so far this year offer significant new opportunities for products in Oncology, HIV and Respiratory and we expect more important readouts in the second half of the year. We also expect to complete our joint venture with Pfizer shortly, laying the foundation for the creation of two great companies: one in Pharmaceuticals/Vaccines; one in Consumer Healthcare."
Earlier on Wednesday, Glaxo announced it has appointed former AstraZeneca PLC finance chief Jonathan Symonds to replace outgoing Chair Philip Hampton at the start of September.
Symonds will replace Hampton - who has held the post since 2015 - after he announced his intention to lave in January.
Shares in Glaxo were up 0.3% on Wednesday at 1,665.00p.