Pharmaceuticals giant GSK has stuck to its plan to spin off its consumer health division next year as it released its third quarter results this afternoon, quashing reports that private equity giants were plotting to swoop in on the business.
GSK has pressed ahead with its plan to spin off its consumer health division in 2022, after Bloomberg reported earlier this month that private equity giants were plotting to swoop in on the business in what would represent the biggest buyout in history.
Pressed on the issue in a results call this afternoon, Walmsley insisted: “We are very committed to the separation of at least 80 per cent of our holding of the consumer business.
“Our focus is on a timely and pragmatic monetisation of the remaining 20 part of our shareholding of that business, and we believe the demerger holds a great potential value unlock,” she added.
The group released better-than-expected results for the third quarter and revised its profit outlook upwards, after strong trading of its key drugs and vaccines as well as cost cutting measures, ahead of a spin off of its consumer healthcare business next year.
Turnover grew by 5 per cent to £9.1bn in the three months to September 30, outsprinting analysts’ expectations of around £8.7bn, and adjusted earnings were up 3 per cent to 36.6 pence per share.
GSK now expects its full year adjusted earnings per share to decline by between 2 per cent and 4 per cent at constant exchange rates, excluding any Covid product surges. The group previously expected profit to fall by mid-to-high single digit percentages.
Pharmaceuticals sales rose by 5.5 per cent to £4.4bn, fuelled by strong growth from its new and speciality medicines.
GSK’s vaccines arm – the world’s biggest vaccine maker – also charted sales growth of 7 per cent during the quarter to £2.2bn.
Chief executive officer Dame Emma Walmsley touted “increased momentum” across the group’s consumer healthcare business, ahead of its planned split next year, and the group’s “continued discipline on costs”.
“This has allowed us to improve our full-year guidance and, alongside the progress in strengthening our research and development pipeline, reinforces our confidence in the outlook for a step-change in growth and performance in 2022 and beyond,” Walmsley said.