- Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline posted a 41% jump in first-quarter earnings after drug sales were boosted by stockpiling amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Operating profit for the three months through March increased to £2.01bn, as revenue rose 19% to £9.09bn, underpinned by higher sales of treatments for respiratory disease, HIV and shingles.

Adjusted operating profit rose 24%, adjusted earnings per share rose 25% to 37.7p and total earnings per share rose 87% to 31.5p.

GlaxoSmithKline declared a first-quarter dividend of 19p per share.

Growth in sales reflected a strong underlying performance 'and additional impact from increased demand including stock building for many products', the company said.

GlaxoSmithKline maintained its earnings per share guidance for the full year.

'Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic is at the heart of our purpose as a company and GSK's portfolio is both highly relevant and needed,' chief executive Emma Walmsley said.

Walmsley reiterated that GlaxoSmithKline was aiming to develop multiple adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccines.

'Looking ahead, we clearly face a period of considerable uncertainty, but we remain confident in the resilience and sustainability of GSK's business and our ability to deliver on our long-term priorities of innovation, performance and trust.'

At 1:15pm: [LON:GSK] Glaxosmithkline PLC share price was -1.8p at 1685.8p

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