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Blue-chip results to be in the spotlight.

A glut of results announcements and updates from the UK's blue-chips will keep investors on their toes this week.

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline, which has a manufacturing base at Barnard Castle, is expected to reveal that pre-tax profits rose to pounds 1.54bn in its second quarter from pounds 1.53bn during the same period last year.

The firm recently reintroduced anti-depressant Paxil CR after it was withdrawn amid fears over its quality - but analyst Jeremy Batstone at stockbroker Charles Stanley said its return came too late to affect Thursday's interim results.

Glaxo was allowed to reintroduce Paxil CR and another drug - its Avandamet diabetes treatment - after it identified the source of manufacturing problems and took corrective action.

A strong performance from key drivers such as asthma treatment Advair is expected to offset a negative impact from sales of Paxil CR and Wellbutrin, hit by generic competition.

Rail and bus operator National Express Group (NEG) is expected to report good interim profits performance on Thursday.

NEG is tipped to turn in pre-tax profits of pounds 58.5m against pounds 42.3m beforehand, with rail predicted to be the growth area.

Other firms reporting results this week include: Wednesday: Interims - Prudential; Thursday: Finals - Rolls-Royce; Interims - British Telecom; Friday: Interims - Lloyds TSB.
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Title Annotation:Business Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 25, 2005
Words:209
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