GSK chief asks for three years for profit increase

Andrew Witty tells investors he will improve profitability at Glaxo’s consumer unit

GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Andrew Witty pledges improve profits.

GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Andrew Witty pledges improve profits.

 

GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Andrew Witty asked investors to give him three years to improve profitability at the biggest UK pharmaceutical company’s consumer-health unit.

The company, which created a joint venture with Novartis for over-the-counter products last year, yesterday said the fourth-quarter core operating margin for that business was 11.5 per cent. That compared with profitability ratios of 28.2 per cent for its pharmaceutical division and 17 per cent for vaccines.

“We’re only one year into the extraction of value from the creation of this consumer company,” Mr Witty said.

Fourth-quarter sales rose 2 per cent to £6.29 billion. Profit excluding certain costs fell 23 per cent to £1.36 billion. Core earnings per share of 18.1 pence matched analyst estimates.

– (Bloomberg)