GSK sees nutritional healthcare profit increase

GSK sees nutritional healthcare profit increase

GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical giant that produces Lucozade and Ribena drinks, has recorded an increase in profits for its soft drinks division for the fourth quarter.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said today (4 February) that nutritional sales growth was driven by a strong performance by its Horlicks brand.

For the three months to 31 December, turnover for the firm’s nutritional healthcare division reached GBP191m (US$302.5m), a 4% increase on the comparable period of 2008.

This was helped by GPB55m in profits from Horlicks, a 19% increase on 2008.

Lucozade profits, however, were impacted by lower sales in the ‘impulse’ segment of the UK market, dropping 2% to GBP86m. Ribena profits remained flat at GBP38m.

Sales in nutritional healthcare increased 3% for the period to reach GBP851m. The figure was helped by a 17% increase in Horlicks sales to GBP255m. Lucozade sales were down 3% to GB376m, while Ribena sales were down 4% to GBP160m.

In Europe, nutritional healthcare suffered, with sales down 6% and profit down 3%.

Sales in all three brands dropped. Horlicks by 6%, Lucozade by 5% and Ribena by 7%.

The Rest of the World fared slightly better however, with nutritional healthcare sales up 17% and profits up 15%.

Andrew Witty, CEO, said: “Our strategy is delivering and I believe that GSK is now moving to a position where we can deliver our goal of long-term sustainable financial performance. 2009 saw GSK return to sales growth and I am confident of our prospects in 2010.”

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has signed a deal to significantly expand sales of its Lucozade brand in China as it looks to increase its presence in emerging markets.

GSK this week announced it has signed an agreement with President (Shanghai) Trading Co, a trading arm of Uni-President China Holdings, a leading food and beverage company in China, to launch Lucozade in China.

In October, GSK signed a deal to significantly expand sales of its Lucozade brand in China.