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GSK shares jump 3% on strong sales, but Advair sales slump

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) shares jumped more than 3 percent after the U.K.-listed pharmaceutical giant reported second-quarter earnings per share (EPS) that were slightly higher than forecast on Wednesday.

Core EPS was 17.3 pence (27.1 cents), above the 16.7 pence predicted by analysts polled by Reuters, while net profit was 4 percent up on the same quarter last year at £936 million. Revenue was £5.88 billion, in line with forecasts.

However, the waning popularity of its blockbuster drug, Advair, hit respiratory pharmaceutical sales, which fell 6 percent.

Matthew Lloyd | Bloomberg | Getty Images

GSK forecast that Advair sales would continue to decline for the next five years, in part because of the introduction of a generic alternative to the drug in the U.S.

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After the earnings announcement, GSK shares closed 3.5 percent lower. They are down around 18 percent since peaks in March and April and roughly 1.4 percent lower than at the start of the year.

The pharmaceutical giant has market capitalization of around £65 billion.

In the same period last year, the company posted earnings per share of £18.90 on sales of £5.6 billion.

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Last week, GSK announced that its prospective malaria vaccine, Mosquirix, had won backing from European regulators. This would be the world's first malaria vaccine and has received approval from the European Medicines Agency to be used on children aged six weeks to 17 months in sub-Saharan Africa.

This comes as GSK attempts to consolidate its lead in vaccines business and step back from pharmaceuticals.

In March, GSK announced a three-part deal with rival Novartis. GSK bought Novartis's global vaccine business (excluding influenza vaccines) for $5.25 billion and divested its oncology business for $16 billion and announced the creation of a consumer healthcare joint venture with Novartis.

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In a statement accompanying the results, CEO Andrew Witty said the figures were "encouraging."

"Our integration and restructuring plans are on track and we remain confident that we can achieve our targets for this year and return the Group to earnings growth in 2016...Importantly the growth of our new pharmaceutical products is now more than offsetting sales declines of Seretide/Advair," he added.