Earnings Rise at GlaxoSmithKline

The improvement comes even as revenue for the second quarter falls slightly.
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GlaxoSmithKline

(GSK) - Get Report

said earnings rose in the second quarter, even as revenue came in a bit lower than in the same period a year ago.

The drugmaker said Wednesday that revenue slipped to 5.38 billion British pounds ($8.66 billion) from 5.42 billion a last year. Earnings climbed to 1.33 billion pounds, or 22.8 pence a share (about $2.14 billion, or 37 cents), from 1.17 billion, or 19.6 pence a year ago.

Glaxo also said it now expects earnings per share growth in the high single digits or better in 2003, regardless of possible generic competition to the antidepressant Paxil in the U.S.

Total pharmaceutical sales advanced 3% in the quarter and 6% in the first half of the year. Glaxo characterized the result as "a good performance" given the loss of nearly 300 million pounds worth of Augmentin sales to generic competition in the U.S. during the first half of 2003.

Seretide sales exceeded 1 billion pounds for the first half of the year, making it Glaxo's largest and fastest growing product. The company said it's on track to launch two products in the U.S. in the second half of the year, Levitra for erectile dysfunction and Wellbutrin XL for depression.

Shares of Glaxo were gaining $1.32, or 3.5%, to $39.29 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.