GSK reports slumping annual profits

Business

British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline logged slumping annual profits after the prior year was boosted by asset sales, but forecast recovery in 2022 amid the spinoff of its healthcare division.

Profit after tax sank with £4.4 billion last year, said GSK in a statement.

That compared with £5.7 billion, helped by £1.4 billion of pandemic-related sales, – particularly of antibody treatment Sotrovimab.

“We have ended the year strongly, with another quarter of excellent performance … and we enter 2022 with good momentum,” said  Chief executive Emma Walmsley.

The London-listed company foresees rising profit in 2022, when it will finally spin off its consumer healthcare business. The company expects growth in operating profit of between 12 and 14%.

This comes after consumer goods giant Unilever failed in a £50-billion takeover bid for the unit, which is owned by GSK and US peer Pfizer.

Glaxo revealed last month that it had received three unsolicited offers for the health care division from Unilever but rejected them all as they were too low.

Unilever, which will publish its annual earnings on Thursday, has already stated it will not increase its offer.

“2022 is … the year when we demerge our world-leading consumer healthcare business,” Walmsley said.

“Later this month, we will set out the future growth ambitions and highly attractive financial profile of this business, and the outstanding opportunity it provides for shareholders.”

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