GSK shares climb on upbeat sales and upgraded outlook

GSK upbeat on year after Q1 surge. Shingrix vaccine sales soar.

GSK (LSE: GSK) shares climbed 1.8% on Wednesday after the pharmaceutical company reported a “strong” start to the year and upgraded its 2024 earnings forecast.

Revenue rose 5.9% to £7.36 billion in Q1, with growth across all business areas. The star performer was Shingrix, the shingles vaccine, with sales up 18% to £945 million.

Despite a 29% decline in pre-tax profit due to one-off charges, GSK increased its revenue growth guidance to the top end of the 5% to 7% range. Core operating profit growth is now expected to be 9% to 11%, up from the previous 7% to 10% forecast. The company also raised its core EPS growth outlook to 8% to 10%, from 6% to 9%.

GSK CEO Emma Walmsley credited the positive performance to “business momentum” across all product areas and a strong pipeline with successful phase III trials for four new medicines. The company declared a first-quarter dividend of 15p per share and maintained its full-year payout guidance of 60p, a 3.4% increase year-on-year.

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