GSK says Q3 earnings fall 14.4% amid COVID-19 disruption

LONDON (AP) — Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline says third-quarter earnings fell 14.4% as disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic reduced sales of vaccines, antibiotics and consumer healthcare products.

The company said Wednesday that pretax profit dropped to 1.67 billion pounds ($2.16 billion) from 1.95 billion pounds in the same period last year. Net income fell 19.8% to 1.24 billion pounds.

Vaccine sales dropped 12% as a decline in adult wellness visits cut demand for GSK’s Shingrix shingles vaccine, the company said. The pandemic also cut new patient prescriptions for allergy medicines and antibiotics, leading to a 7% decline in pharmaceutical sales. Sales of over-the-counter products dropped 4% as fewer customers visited pharmacies.

GSK says the “pandemic has impacted group performance, particularly in the vaccines business, during the first nine months of 2020.”

However, it said that it has seen “a recovery in vaccination rates, including adult immunization rates in the United States returning to prior year levels in the last month of the quarter.”

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