European drugmaker GSK sees slide in profit after it swapped some assets with Novartis

MarketsAssociated Press

Britain-based drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has reported a drop in earnings in the first full quarter since its deal to swap some assets with Swiss rival Novartis.

Second-quarter net income fell to 149 million pounds ($232 million) from 654 million pounds a year earlier. Core operating profit fell 4 percent to 1.35 billion pounds. Sales rose 6 percent to 5.89 billion pounds.

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CEO Andrew Witty described the performance as encouraging, with integration and restructuring plans on track. Synergy benefits are expected from the Novartis transaction.

GSK, the world's No. 7 drugmaker, has been trying to grow or eliminate noncore investments to focus on their strengths amid pressure from generic drugmakers.

Those deals included GSK's sale of its cancer-drug business to Novartis in a swap for the Swiss company's vaccines business and cash.