By Natalie Grover

(Reuters) – GSK on Wednesday GSK on Wednesday smashed analysts’ estimates for third-quarter earnings, driven by higher sales of its blockbuster shingles vaccine, Shingrix.

This quarter, Shingrix blew past expectations by generating sales of 760 million pounds ($872.86 million) compared to the GSK-compiled consensus of 685 million pounds.

Although demand for the vaccine suffered as adult immunisations took a hit during the first pandemic years, sales have rebounded as COVID-19 pressures have eased.

The British drugmaker – now solely focused on vaccines and medicines months after executing a rehaul of the business with the spinoff of its consumer health unit – also reported stronger than expected quarterly sales in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

GSK reported third-quarter adjusted profit of 46.9 pence on sales of about 7.83 billion pounds, compared with a company-compiled analyst consensus of 40.1 pence on sales of 7.32 billion pounds.

The company also raised its forecast once again for 2022. It now expects sales to rise between 8% and 10% and adjusted operating profit to increase by 15% to 17%, excluding any contributions from the company’s COVID-19 solutions business.

Previously in July, GSK had predicted that 2022 sales would rise 6% to 8% and adjusted operating profit to climb by 13% to 15%, boosting a forecast for 2022 guidance issued in February.

($1 = 0.8707 pounds)

(Reporting by Natalie Grover in London, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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