Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline has announced the results of its second financial quarter, revealing that the sales of its shingles vaccine, Shingrix, helped the company to exceed expectations.

Throughout the quarter group turnover increased 7% AER, 5% CER to £7,809 million, with CER growth delivered by vaccines and consumer healthcare partially offset by a decline in pharmaceuticals.

Sales were also up 2% AER but down 1% CER with HIV sales up 2% AER but down 2% CER to £1,209 million, with growth in Juluca (dolutegravir/rilpivirine) and Dovato (dolutegravir/lamivudine) offset by declines in Tivicay (dolutegravir) and Triumeq (dolutegravir/abacavir/lamivudine).

Vaccines turnover grew 26% AER, 23% CER to £1,585 million, as previously mentioned primarily driven by growth in sales of Shingrix, and the company’s total operating profit was £1,484 million compared with £779 million in Q2 2018.

Because of the successful results GSK has readjusted its prediction for its earnings per share to decline in the range of -3% to -5% at CER, as opposed to the previous -5% to -9% at CER. The company said that the new forecast reflects improved operating performance, as well as lower interest expense.

Emma Walmsley, chief executive officer, GSK said of the results: “GSK delivered continued good operating performance in Q2 despite the loss of exclusivity of Advair. We are increasing our expectations for the year and have updated our guidance for 2019.”

She also said that the company “remains focused on strengthening our R&D pipeline and the execution of new product launches. Positive clinical data received so far this year offer significant new opportunities for products in Oncology, HIV and Respiratory and we expect more important readouts in the second half of the year. We also expect to complete our joint venture with Pfizer shortly, laying the foundation for the creation of two great companies: one in Pharmaceuticals/Vaccines; one in Consumer Healthcare.”

Analysts at Edison commented that the company’s results were “expected to play a supporting role. With a beat of analysts' consensus estimates of sales and adjusted EPS, this was exactly what the results announcement achieved”, with one of their analysts Andy Smith explaining that “With the backdrop of GSK's R&D revamp, that included last years acquisition of the oncology biotech Tsaro, and the impending split of the company into pharmaceutical and consumer health divisions, GSK's second-quarter results were expected to play a supporting role.”

He went on to say that “With a beat of analysts' consensus estimates of sales and adjusted EPS, this was exactly what the results announcement achieved. For at least the second quarter running, pharmaceutical sales were driven by the performance of the Shingrix vaccine in the US. Shingrix is indicated for the prevention of shingles in the growing population of seniors.

“The respiratory franchise also seems to be holding its own with newer double and triple combination products, and the monoclonal antibody Nucala for asthma comprising the franchise now that Advair has gone generic. Indeed the previous guidance range that took into account the impact of Advair generics has been improved as the growth of new products has absorbed some of that impact.”

The company currently has 44 new medicines in development, including 13 vaccines.