GlaxoSmithKline posted a 36% rise in pre-tax profit, underpinned higher sales of its shingles vaccine and respiratory disease treatments, but warned of lower earnings in 2019.
Pre-tax profit for the year through December rose to £4.80bn, as sales climbed 2% to £30.82bn, or by 5% on a constant currency basis.
Adjusted earnings per share rose 7% to 119.4p, or by 12% on a constant currency basis, assisted by improved operating margin and continued financial efficiencies, the company said.
For 2019, GlaxoSmithKline forecast EPS to decline by 5-9% in constant currency, reflecting recent approval of a generic competitor to respiratory disease treatment Advair in the US.
The guidance also reflected the expected impact of the recent Tesaro acquisition and assumed the consumer healthcare disposal and JV with Pfizer was completed to plan.
In 2018, shingles vaccine sales more than doubled to £784m, while total new respiratory product sales rose 35% to £2.6bn.
GlaxoSmithKline declared a full-year dividend of 80p a share, which it forecast to remain flat in 2019.
'GSK delivered improved operating performance in 2018 with group sales growth, strong commercial execution of new product launches, especially Shingrix, continued cost discipline and better cash generation,' chief executive Emma Walmsley said.
At 1:12pm: (LON:GSK) GlaxoSmithKline PLC share price was +10.8p at 1533.4p