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GlaxoSmithKline  (GSK) posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Wednesday, and lifted its full-year profit guidance, as sales from its vaccine franchise offset the loss of exclusivity of the group's Advair asthma treatment.

Glaxo said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in June came in at 30.5 pence per share, up 9% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the 25.8 pence forecast provided by the company. Group revenues, Glaxo said, rose 7% to £7.8 billion ($9.75 billion) thanks in part to stronger sales for its Shingrix shingles vaccine, which generated a topline of £386 million that could rise to as much as £1 billion by the end of the year.

Looking into 2019, Glaxo said it sees adjusted earnings falling in the range of -3% to -5% from last year, an improvement from earlier guidance that forecast a decline of between -5% and -9%. 

"We remain focused on strengthening our R&D pipeline and the execution of new product launches. Positive clinical data received so far this year offer significant new opportunities for products in Oncology, HIV and Respiratory and we expect more important readouts in the second half of the year," said CEO Emma Walmsley. "We also expect to complete our joint venture with Pfizer shortly, laying the foundation for the creation of two great companies: one in Pharmaceuticals/Vaccines; one in Consumer Healthcare."

GlaxoSmithKline's U.S.-listed shares were marked 1% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $41.7 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date advance to around 9.7%.