GSK Slumps into Red in Q2

July 21, 2010
The company is looking to diversify its sales base which will help 'reduce reliance on sales generated in white pills/western markets.'

British pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline said on July 21 that it sank into the red in the second quarter. The company reported a net loss of 304 million pounds in the three months to the end of June. That contrasted with net profit of 1.461 billion pounds in the same portion of last year.

Net earnings, before restructuring, tumbled to 130 million pounds, compared with 1.57 billion last time around. The group added that turnover grew 4% to 7.02 billion pounds in the reporting period.

The company is looking to diversify its sales base which will help "reduce reliance on sales generated in white pills/western markets and offset the decline in sales seen in our U.S. pharmaceuticals business," explained CEO Andrew Witty.

"In Emerging Markets we have sought to build our current market shares and therapeutic breadth through organic means and targeted acquisitions. During the quarter, for example, we invested in new bolt-on business opportunities in Korea and Argentina.

While Witty says the company is making progress and improving the R&D output he acknowledges that in the "short run our underlying U.S. business performance will be somewhat masked by the continued impact of genericization of Valtrex sales and reductions in pricing resulting from healthcare reform."

GSK had announced last week that it would take a charge of 1.57 billion pounds in the second quarter to cover costs of settling legal disputes involving antidepressant Paxil, its diabetes drug Avandia, and a U.S. government investigation of a Glaxo factory in Puerto Rico.

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