GSK fourth-quarter profit misses estimates, initiates plan to split into two

Feb 5 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline Plc's quarterly profit fell short of analysts' expectations on Wednesday, and the drugmaker said it has begun its planned split into two companies following the merger of its over-the-counter products into a venture with Pfizer.

Sales rose 11% to 8.90 billion pounds ($11.62 billion) in the three months ended Dec. 31 at constant currency, while adjusted earnings were 24.8 pence per share.

Analysts on average had expected fourth-quarter earnings of 25.8 pence on turnover of 9 billion pounds, according to a company-compiled consensus https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/investors/analyst-consensus/analyst-consensus of 15 analysts. ($1 = 0.7662 pounds) (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)