GlaxoSmithKline has announced positive Q3 sales results, driven heavily by successful sales of its shingles vaccine, as well as older medicines, including HIV treatments, which continued to sell well.

The British pharma giant reported sales of £9.4 billion for the third quarter, with shares rising as much as 3%; the best profit the group has seen in the last six years.

Pipeline highlights included a Shingrix (recombinant varicella zoster virus) sales reporting of £535 million, mainly boosted by US sales, and total respiratory sales – including Nucala (mepolizumab) and Trelegy (fluticasone furoate/umeclidinium/vilanterol) - of £806 million.

HIV drug sales also came in at a total of £1.3 billion, with two-drug regimen sales hitting £119 million.

The company made “further good progress in Q3, with sales growth across all three businesses,” commented Emma Walmsley, chief executive officer.

She continued to say that the company has upgraded its full-year EPS guidance – or financial forecast – for the second time this year, due to the fact that GSK has “continued to strengthen our pipeline and have advanced assets in Respiratory, HIV and, notably, Oncology, where we are on track to file three innovative medicines by year end, following positive pivotal trial data.

“We also achieved a significant milestone with the completion of our new Consumer Healthcare Joint Venture with Pfizer, to create a new world leading consumer healthcare business.”

Over the quarter, the company achieved various product milestones, including positive data from Zejula (niraparib) in women with ovarian cancer, the approval of Nucala in the European Union for self-administration by patients with severe eosinophilic asthma and more recently the initiation of a Phase III trial for its first-in-class antibiotic, gepotidacin, in uncomplicated urinary tract infection and urogenital gonorrhea.