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GSK spin-off Haleon reports price hikes in Europe

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Some over-the-counter drugs became more expensive in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America than elsewhere over recent months, new data suggest.

Haleon, the consumer healthcare group behind Panadol, revealed that its prices had risen 5.5% in the markets, compared to just 2.1% in North America and 3.7% in Asia Pacific.

The figures came in Haleon’s first outing as an independent company. It had previously been the consumer healthcare arm of drugs giant GSK.

Last week, Haleon’s shares started trading independently on the London Stock Exchange, and the spin off was big enough for the company to still be included on the FTSE 100.

Revenue rose by 13.4% in the first six months of the financial year, Haleon said, reaching £5.2 billion.

“Haleon delivered strong growth in the first half continuing the positive momentum seen since the start of year,” said chief executive Brian McNamara.

“This reflects the strength of our portfolio, continued innovation and excellent commercial execution across our markets.”

He said that revenue had grown partly because of increased prices, but also overall sales.

A “strong cold and flu season” helped sales in the company’s respiratory unit, while its pain relief products and vitamins also performed well as a result.

Mr McNamara said: “With two strong quarters delivered and continued momentum into the second half, we now expect to deliver full year organic revenue growth ahead of our medium term guidance range.”

Separately, former parent company GSK reported a 19% rise in total sales, reaching £6.9 billion.

The business is hiking its sales forecast from between 5% and 7% this year to a new prediction of between 6% and 8%.

Adjusted operating profit is now expected to hit 13% to 15% – compared to a previous 12% to 14% prediction.

Chief executive Emma Walmsley said: “This is GSK’s first set of results as a newly focused biopharma company, and we have delivered an excellent second quarter performance, with strong growth in specialty medicines, including HIV, and a record quarter for our shingles vaccine Shingrix.

“With this momentum in sales and operating profit growth, we have raised our full-year guidance and are confident in delivering the long-term growth outlooks we set out for shareholders last year.”

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