GlaxoSmithKline has posted a near 4 percent rise in sales for the third quarter of the year, driven by a solid performance by its HIV and respiratory therapies and a weak pound.

The drugs giant booked total revenues of £7.8 billion for the period, with pharma products bringing in sales of £4.2 billion (up 3 percent) and those from consumer care contributing $2 billion (up 5 percent).

Vaccines sales remained flat at £1.7 billion, as a strong performance from meningitis vaccines and continued delivery from influenza products was countered by increased competitive pressures elsewhere.

Within the pharma segment, “continued strong performance” from Tivicay/Triumeq (dolutegravir) in HIV, Relvar/Breo Ellipta (fluticasone/vilanterol) and Nucala (mepolizumab) in Respiratory and meningitis vaccines helped drive a 44 percent leap in new product sales to £1.7 billion, the firm noted.

This helped boost total operating profit to £1.9 billion, marking a rise of 31 percent over the year-ago period, and generate earnings per share of 24.8p, up 49 percent.

“Performance in the quarter showed continued progress with sales growth and improved operating margins,” said chief executive Emma Walmsley, commenting on the results.

“This was driven by targeted cost savings and restructuring and integration benefits, which particularly benefited Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare, and also supported investment in our new products and R&D pipeline.”

The company is now on track to meet its full-year guidance, with “cash generation continuing to improve”, she added.

GSK won key approvals from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its shingles vaccine Shingrix and its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug Trelegy Ellipta (fluticasone, umeclidinium, vilantero) during the reporting period, which should help offset further the declines being seen from older therapies.