GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK), the world's second-biggest drugmaker measured by market capitalization, boosted its growth forecast for this year after saying revenue totaled $10.63 billion in the most recent second quarter. The British pharmaceuticals seller posted a net profit of $2.46 billion, or 42 cents a share, for the quarter. Glaxo's total revenue included $9.19 billion from drug sales. The company's consumer health care division accounted for nearly $1.45 billion in sales. U.S. drug revenue amounted to $4.68 billion. In Europe, pharmaceutical revenue was $2.57 billion, and in the rest of the world, Glaxo sold $1.94 billion of drugs. "
Glaxo has had another successful quarter with pharmaceutical sales growth of 10% driving an excellent financial performance and enabling us to raise our earnings guidance to around 12% EPS growth in 2006," the company said in a press release Wednesday. The company attributed the double-digit drug sales increase to a strong performance in the U.S. Calculated using British pounds, U.S. sales advanced 18%. U.S. growth was helped by wholesaler stocking patterns, primarily relating to the resupply of the diabetes treatments Avandia and Avandamet, Glaxo said Wednesday. Meanwhile, Glaxo said that as expected, sales in Europe were constrained by generic competition to several key products, including Lamictal, Imigran and Zofran. However, continued strength from Seretide, Avandia and vaccines mitigated the overall impact. Separately, Glaxo said data from one of its trials for its experimental bird flu vaccine "has shown a high immune response rate at a low dose." The vaccine is designed to prevent the H5N1 strain of avian flu, a virus some experts fear could one day cause a worldwide health disaster. Numerous other companies are working on vaccines for H5N1, which has killed several dozen people in Asia and infected thousands of birds in recent years. With a market cap of nearly $161 billion, Glaxo trails only New York-based Pfizer ( PFE) in size. Glaxo was losing $1.30, or 2.3%, to $55.61 in early U.S. trading. Since the end of last year, the stock has climbed 14.5%. Glaxo was dropping 1.3% on the London Stock Exchange.