GlaxoSmithKline slimming down as it gears up new drug launches

City A.M. Reporter
DISPOSALS are trumping acquisitions as GlaxoSmithKline slims down ready for a wave of its new medicines to reach the market, its chief executive said yesterday.

Britain’s biggest drugmaker expects to sell operations this year with revenue of around £1bn – roughly the same as the volume of business acquired in the past five years. The firm is currently selling its Lucozade and Ribena drinks.

It is a mismatch that chief executive Sir Andrew Witty is happy to see continue as the company becomes more focused, increasing its leverage to new drugs coming down the pipe.

“I think our proceeds from divestments will far exceed our acquisition costs,” Witty said in an interview.

“The size of this company will be dictated by the success of the pipeline and we will continue to clip off bits of the business that we think are not core or are drags.

“Our energy around acquisitions and our machine around acquisition is the lowest it has ever been in the history of the company,” Witty said.