- Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline said that meeting its annual earnings guidance was contingent on the timing of a recovery in vaccine demand, a slump in which drove a fall in its second-quarter sales.

The company reported a more than doubling in pre-tax profit for the three months through June to £2.64bn, up from £1.27bn on-year, owing to proceeds from asset sales including the Horlicks brand.

Sales fell 2% to £7.6bn, or by 3% on a constant currency basis. The fall was deeper, at 10%, excluding asset divestments and brands under review.

Adjusted EPS dropped 37% to 19.2p, reflecting lower sales and higher non-controlling interests following creation of the consumer healthcare joint venture in 2019 and a higher tax rate.

The company said its guidance for 2020 adjusted EPS had been maintained, though it added the 'outcome is dependent in particular on timing of a recovery in vaccination rates'.

GlaxoSmithKline said the fall in sales reflected a disruption from Covid-19 lockdowns, particularly in its vaccines division.

Demand, including for the company's popular vaccine for shingles, was affected during lockdowns, when hospitals were focusing less on elective procedures.

The fall in revenue also reflected destocking from the first quarter in the pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare divisions.

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

At 1:22pm: [LON:GSK] Glaxosmithkline PLC share price was -19p at 1585.6p

Story provided by