(AOF) – British pharmaceutical giant GSK saw its stock climb 1.63% to 1,469 pence thanks to better-than-expected results and raising its annual targets. In the third quarter, adjusted operating profit (Ebit) increased 18% to £ 2.6 billion, 13% higher than expected. The group’s share of net profit jumped to £ 10.3 billion in the third quarter, up from £ 1.2 billion the previous year, thanks to the capital gain generated by the demerger of its consumer care business.
GSK split last July from this business which debuted on the London Stock Exchange under the name of Haleon. This transaction represented “a total gain of £ 9.6 billion” over the period, the pharmaceutical group announced in a press release Wednesday.
At the same time, its turnover increased by 18% to £ 7.8 billion over the period, beating expectations by 7%.
“Despite uncertain economic conditions in many markets in which we operate, we continue to see evidence of a recovery in health systems” after the pandemic, the lab says.
Emma Walmsley, CEO of GSK, particularly highlights the strong sales of Shingrix, her shingles vaccine, and expects good momentum for 2022.
On the back of its strong quarterly performance, the British pharmaceutical giant has revised its targets for 2022 upwards. It is now aiming for sales growth of 8-10% at constant exchange rates, two points higher than the previous estimate. . The UK multinational’s adjusted EBIT is expected to rise 15-17% versus 13-15% previously.
GSK expects “continued strong sales growth and a relatively higher rate of R&D spending in the fourth quarter.”
UBS maintained its neutral recommendation on GSK with a price target of 1820 pence. Including the impact of FX and related products on the pandemic, the analyst “expects the consensus on earnings per share to rise by around 3%.”
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Inevitable race for new blockbusters
The patent for Merck’s flagship product, the cancer drug Keytruda, which accounts for more than 35% of its sales, expires in 2028. Despite the loss, since 2019, of the patents for its three-star products (Avastin, Herceptine, Rituxan) Roche was able to renew its portfolio by introducing new molecules to the market. However, the discovery and launch of new drugs are becoming more and more expensive. AstraZeneca spends approximately $ 6 billion annually on research and development in a pharmaceutical industry where a patent lasts only ten to fifteen years. This leads laboratories to withdraw from certain activities. So J&J, Pfizer, GSK and, no doubt, Novartis soon prefer to focus again on specialty drugs and abandon any ancillary activities.