GSK delivers upbeat third-quarter sales and raises annual profit outlook

Pharma giant also strengths board to silence questions about lack of scientific credentials in leadership.

On Wednesday, the British pharma giant announced better than expected sales for the quarter as pressure continues to mount on the embattled CEO, Emma Walmsley. At GBP 9.07 billion (USD 12.5 billion), the figure represented a 5 percent jump in the company’s turnover for the three months ending 30 September. The upbeat performance comes on the back of strong sales from the company’s leading drugs and cost cutting measures as it prepares for a split next year. The pharma segment brought in GBP 4.4 billion, vaccines GBP 2.2 billion and consumer healthcare GBP 2.5 billion. GSK also raised its annual outlook as it expects pharmaceutical sales to improve further, despite a lower forecast for vaccine sales as the continued rise in the more-contagious Delta variant delayed an expected recovery.

“As people didn’t want to go out and leave their houses and (health systems) were really prioritising mass scale vaccination, that was the main hit. These are deferred and not lost sales for sure and it’s good to see us firmly on the recovery track,” GSK CEO Emma Walmsley said during the results call. Having endured pressure from activist hedge fund Elliot Management which questioned the scientific rigor of its leadership, GSK has brought in a top U.S. scientist Dr Harry Dietz, a lecturer at The Johns Hopkins University and a former president of the American Society of Human Genetics, as a board member. Dietz is also expected to join the company’s science committee, which is responsible for ‘scrutinising research, performance and acquisitions at the new vaccines company’.