GSK profits up on HIV medicine strength amid optimism

British pharmaceutical giant GSK (LSE: GSK) posted higher full-year profits and revenues for 2023, driven by resilient growth in its key HIV medicine division, prompting an upbeat earnings outlook.

Pretax profit at the FTSE 100 firm climbed 7.7% to £6.06 billion last year from £5.63 billion in 2022, while total revenues rose 3.4% to £30.33 billion. GSK’s HIV medicines unit saw sales increase 12% to £6.44 billion.

However, GSK’s influenza vaccine revenue tumbled 29% to £504 million. The company enjoyed its first revenues from newly-approved respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) shot Arexvy, which brought in £1.24 billion. Arexvy is the world’s first RSV vaccine, gaining regulatory nods last year.

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GSK raised its dividend to 16.00p per share, but the 2023 full-year payout of 58.00p still declined 5.3%.

Going forward, chief executive Emma Walmsley guided for 2024 turnover growth of 5-7% and adjusted earnings per share expansion of 6-9%. An upbeat GSK also plans “at least 12 major launches from 2025”.

GSK shares were unchanged in early trade Wednesday. The stock has added 6.9% over the past 12 months.