GSK raises outlook once more amid strong vaccine sales

GSK Plc raised its outlook for a second time and expressed optimism about next year, buoyed by demand for existing vaccines and a newcomer for a common respiratory virus.

Operating profit excluding some costs could rise as much as 17% and sales growth may be as high as 10% this year, the UK drugmaker said Wednesday, up from prior expectations of 15% and 8%. GSK also boosted its forecast the last time it reported quarterly earnings.

The upgrade comes as the maker of the blockbuster shingles vaccine Shingrix submits its new shot, designed to protect against respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, to regulators.

The US Food and Drug Administration is giving it priority review amid concern about an epidemic unfolding this fall and winter. GSK is racing against Pfizer Inc. as both pharma firms bring to market the first vaccines for RSV.

Demand for Shingrix helped the British pharma firm report £7.8 billion ($9 billion) in revenue and 46.9 pence in earnings per share, excluding some costs, in the third quarter. The stock rose as much as 1.7% in London.

Growth Momentum

The momentum will likely continue into the current quarter with strong sales and faster research spending, according to GSK. It expects Shingrix to show double-digit growth and record annual sales in 2022.

“We are again raising our full-year guidance and expect good momentum in 2023,” Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley said, citing expectations for both Shingrix and the RSV shot.

GSK, Pfizer Tied at Halfway Stage in $10 Billion RSV-Market Fray

On Tuesday, Pfizer said a large trial showed that its experimental vaccine protected babies against RSV when their pregnant mothers received it before giving birth.

GSK is focused on replenishing its pharmaceutical pipeline after spinning off its Haleon consumer-health unit. – BLOOMBERG