(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline Plc <GSK.L> on Wednesday raised its annual profit forecast for the second time this year on the back of soaring sales of its Shingles vaccine, sending shares of the British drugmaker up nearly 3%.
The drugmaker now expects full-year profit to be roughly flat compared to last year at constant currency, up from a previous forecast of a fall of 3% to 5%.
Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley has set bold plans in motion to rejuvenate GSK, which has included the spin off or sale of a number of businesses since she took over in 2017 and greater focus on the company’s pharmaceuticals business.
Sales of Shingrix, launched in 2017, rose 76% to £535 million, way ahead of analysts’ expectations of £464 million, leading vaccines unit sales to rise 15% to £2.31 billion.
Turnover rose 11% to £9.39 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30 from a year earlier.
Adjusted earnings were 38.6 pence per share.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 33 pence and sales of £9.02 billion, according to a company-compiled consensus https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/investors/analyst-consensus/analyst-consensus of 15 analysts.
The company said the new forecast reflects operating performance, increased investment in research and development as well as a lower expected effective tax rate of around 17% for the year.
GSK shares were up nearly 3% to 1788 pence at 1213 GMT, their highest since May 2013.
(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)