Britain's biggest drugmaker said on Wednesday it
expected 2014 sales to increase by around 2 percent on an
ex-divestment basis at constant exchange rates, after a 1 percent
rise in 2013. Earnings per share (EPS) are forecast to rise by 4 to
The prediction does not take into account the negative impact of a
Reported sales in the fourth quarter of 2013, which were impacted by
the strength of sterling, rose 2 percent to 6.91 billion pounds
($11.3 billion), generating "core" EPS down 7 percent at 30.1 pence.
Analysts, on average, had forecast sales of 6.84 billion pounds and
core EPS, which excludes certain items, of 30.2 pence, according to
GSK Chief Executive Andrew Witty has been focusing the company in
recent quarters by spinning off non-core assets like the Lucozade
and Ribena drinks brands, together with certain older drugs, as he
prepares for the roll-out of new medicines.
Last year, GSK topped the industry league table by winning U.S.
approval for five new drugs and the group said it planned to launch
late-stage clinical trial on around 10 new drugs in the next two
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While there have also been setbacks — a cancer vaccine and an
experimental heart drug both failed clinical tests late last year — the company's overall returns on research and development (R&D) are
GSK, which is the only major drugmaker to report its internal rate
of return on R&D investment, said that returns had now reached 13
percent, up from 12 percent in 2012 and 11 percent in 2010.
($1 = 0.6137 British pounds)
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by
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