UK drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has turned in a pleasing set of results for the third quarter of 2005, as earnings per share growth of 16% to 21.3 pence beat general expectations, leading the firm to up its full-year earnings guidance to mid-teens EPS growth.

Operating profit grew 14% to £1.7 billion, driven by strong growth in sales. Product turnover jumped 10% to hit £4.7 billion on robust performances by its key offerings – the asthma drug Advair (salmeterol and fluticasone) up 20% to £737 million, and Avandia (rosiglitazone) for diabetes, up 22% to £355 million - as well as its vaccines franchise, sales of which rose 20% to £399 million for the quarter.

Commenting on the group’s performance and outlook, chief executive JP Garnier said: “This quarter’s performance shows the vitality of our business, which is again being driven by great performances from key products…GSK is facing the future with confidence – today we are raising our earnings guidance for 2005 and confirming that we will review our promising oncology portfolio at an R&D seminar in November.”