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Swine-flu profit boost for Glaxo

Swine flu is proving a winner for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which is likely to record £1.3 billion of vaccine sales next year on top of increasing production of its Relenza antiviral drug.

Second-quarter pre-tax profits are likely to rise by 6% to £1.95 billion in financial results due to be announced by boss Andrew Witty, who will also outline the company`s swine flu strategy.

Meanwhile, the company is hoping to further boost its share price with its acquisition of US skincare firm Stiefel Laboratories in a deal worth up to $3.6 billion (£2.2 billion).

Glaxo has won approval from the European Commission for the deal. The EU says that overlaps between GSK and Teifel are limited to a number of products in the dermatological sector, and that the buyout will not harm competition in Europe.

It says: “For these products, the combined firm would continue to face several strong, effective competitors with significant market shares.”

Stiefel, partly owned by the Blackstone Group, is the world’s biggest independent dermatology company. It will give Glaxo an 8% share of the global prescription dermatology market, and treble the size of its skincare business.

Copyright Press Association 2009

Stiefel Laboratories