GlaxoSmithKline has posted a 23 percent leap in sales to £7.5 billion for the third quarter, while core operating profit jumped 35 percent to £2.3 billion, beating expectations.

However, the results were given a big helping hand by the weak pound; at constant exchange rates, growth in sales and operating profit came in at 8 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Growth was driven by a solid performance by all of the firm's key units.

Pharmaceutical sales were up 6 percent at £4.1 billion, with sales of HIV drugs Tivicay and Triumeq rocketing 70 percent to £718 million.

Vaccines turnover jumped 20 percent to £1.6 billion, benefiting from strong execution and substantial market share gains for flu vaccines in the US as well as continued development of the meningitis franchise, largely through improved supply and share gains for Bexsero.

Consumer Healthcare sales were up 5 percent at £1.9 billion, with particular contributions from key power brands, including Sensodyne and Voltaren, the firm noted.

"Our third quarter results reflect strong performances across the Group and the sustained progress we have made over the course of 2016 to deliver sales growth of new products, maintain effective cost control and execute on our restructuring and integration plans," said Sir Andrew Witty, GSK's chief executive, commenting on the results. "With this positive momentum, we are confident in achieving our earnings guidance for the year for core EPS growth of 11-12 percent on a CER basis".

He also noted that, with the filing of its shingles vaccine Shingrix in the US, the firm has now completed three of the four regulatory filings planned for the second half of this year, and is expecting to start four Phase III trials for assets in HIV, respiratory and anaemia before the end of the year.

"In the remainder of this year and over the course of 2017/18, we expect to see important data for between 20-30 assets in clinical development and in core therapy areas including oncology and immuno-inflammation."