After coming under considerable pressure from an activist investor to realise hidden value in the business and speed up growth, pharmaceutical group GSK has finally found the right medicine.
Over-the-counter medicines business Haleon was spun off last year and GSK has now reported ‘a landmark year’ which includes record sales for its Shingrix shingles vaccine.
Now a more focused pharmaceuticals group, GSK’s business model is all about keeping its pipeline of new treatments stocked and making sure existing treatments sell well before patents expire and generic versions flood the market. Its focus is on infectious diseases, HIV, oncology and immunology.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said: “Chief executive Emma Walmsley seems confident the company can do more than it has in the past. She’s got to be optimistic because in recent years critics have questioned if Walmsley is the right person for the job.
“The results from the reshaped GSK have been encouraging, but this is still early days for version 2.0. Developing drugs that work and having them approved for public use can be a long process and there is no guarantee of success.
“Walmsley is unlikely to ever be able to put her feet up and take a breather, but at least the company seems to be on a stronger footing so she can focus on strategy rather than mounting yet another defensive against unhappy investors.”