Arab Today, arab today glaxosmithkline brushes off china probe to post solid 2013 profits
Last Updated : GMT 05:49:56
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

GlaxoSmithKline brushes off China probe to post solid 2013 profits

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today GlaxoSmithKline brushes off China probe to post solid 2013 profits

London - AFP

GlaxoSmithKline, the British drugs giant facing a series of probesinto alleged staff corruption, announced sliding profits on Wednesday, one weekafter unveiling a group makeover.GSK's net profits slumped 30 percent to £668 million ($1.12 billion, 811 millioneuros) in the first quarter compared with the first three months of 2013, thecompany said in an earnings statement.Revenue fell 10 percent to £5.61 billion, while GSK said that a Chinese corruptioninvestigation had  impacted sales growth at the company's emerging marketsdivision.In a further blow, Polish prosecutors earlier this month said they had extended aprobe into allegations that GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors into promoting one ofits drugs.The company is also investigating alleged corruption by staff at its pharmaceuticalsdivision in Iraq.    GSK last year admitted that senior employees appeared to have breached Chineselaw, after Beijing authorities alleged that staff had bribed government officials,pharmaceutical industry groups, hospitals and doctors to promote sales."The group takes these allegations seriously and is continuing to co-operate fullywith the Chinese authorities," GSK said in Wednesday's earnings statement.It added that it was not currently possible "to make a reliable estimate of thefinancial effect, if any, that could result" from the China probe.The pharmaceutical sector's landscape has meanwhile changed dramatically overthe past week, largely owing to deals struck between GlaxoSmithKline and Swissrival Novartis -- and could alter even further should US giant Pfizer succeed with a$100-billion bid for British company AstraZeneca. A string of takeovers and ventures will see Novartis sharpen its focus on the high-grossing cancer sector, GSK boost its share in vaccines and US company Eli Lillystrengthen its animal health unit.Also last week, Valeant Pharmaceuticals offered to acquire Botox-maker Allergan formore than $45 billion.On Monday, Pfizer insisted that it wanted to secure a blockbuster merger withAstraZeneca that will fuel research in cancer after revealing that an informalapproach worth almost $100 billion had been rejected.The huge shake-up comes as top pharmaceutical companies are battling againstpatents expiring on key brands and deep cuts to government healthcare spending worldwide.

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