UPDATE 2-GSK sees smaller 2021 profit fall after Q2 beat

·2 min read

* Q2 adjusted EPS 28.1 pence vs forecast 19.9 pence

* Sees FY adj EPS at better end of guidance range (Adds more detail, background, shares)

By Pushkala Aripaka

July 28 (Reuters) - GSK forecast a smaller drop in 2021 profit on Wednesday as the drugmaker beat second-quarter earnings expectations, buoyed by a recovery in routine visits to doctors as pandemic restrictions ease.

The British company, which is spinning off its consumer health arm to focus on improving its pharmaceuticals business, said it made adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 28.1 pence in the three months to the end of June on sales of 8.1 billion pounds ($11.2 billion).

Analysts had on average expected adjusted EPS of 19.9 pence on turnover of 7.56 billion pounds, according to a company-compiled consensus https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/investors/analyst-consensus/analyst-consensus.

"We expect this positive momentum to continue through the second half of the year driving us towards the better end of our earnings guidance range for 2021, and meaningful performance improvement in 2022," CEO Emma Walmsley said in a statement.

The world's biggest vaccines maker by sales has forecast adjusted EPS will decline by a mid to high-single digit percentage this year.

GSK shares, which lost a quarter of their value in 2020, were up 1.4% to 1,419 pence at 1125 GMT.

Pressure to show sustainable growth has mounted on Walmsley after years of underperformance at the pharmaceuticals business. The company has also locked horns with activist investor Elliott over its future after the spin-off next year.

GSK said it made 258 million pounds of quarterly sales from its adjuvant used to boost the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

But it added that while immunisation campaigns were making progress, there remained uncertainty over the impact of the pandemic and sales of key shingles vaccine Shingrix were recovering more slowly than expected outside the United States.

As a result, it forecast revenues from vaccines over the full year would be broadly flat.

($1 = 0.7206 pounds)

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Alistair Smout in London Editing by Mark Potter)

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