GlaxoSmithKline has posted its first quarter results which reveal a 21% increase in operating profit, before major restructuring charges of £301 million, to £2.40 billion, while group turnover was up 13% at constant exchange rates, to £7.36 billion.

The figures were boosted by vaccine sales of £1.41 billion, including H1N1 vaccine sales of £698 million. Generic competition across the Atlantic, where pharma sales dipped just 1% to £1.9 billion, again hurt sales of epilepsy drug Lamictal (lamotrigine), which fell 11% to £120 million and migraine pill Imigran/Imitrex (sumatriptan), down 9% to £57 million. Generics also cut sales of Valtrex (valaciclovir) for herpes by 46% to £176 million. The Avandia (rosiglitazone) diabetes franchise brought in £169 million, down 10%.

On the positive side, sales of Advair/Seretide (salmeterol and fluticasone) for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were up 9% at £1.26 billion. Other strong performances came from Avodart (dutasteride), for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (+20% to £139 million), the heart disease drug Lovaza (omega-3-acid ethyl esters; +9% to £107 million) the breast cancer drug Tykerb/Tyverb (lapatinib; +62% to £53 million) and the bloodthinner Arixtra (fondaparinux; +25% to £70 million).

Chief executive Andrew Witty said the quarter “saw some early signs of recovery for our US pharmaceuticals business”, as “the balance within our portfolio between genericisation and new products begins to move in our favour”.