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Glaxo first-quarter hit by generics in US market.

GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the U.K.'s biggest drugmaker, said first-quarter profit fell after generic copies eroded sales of five of the company's products. Net income declined to 1.13 billion pounds ($1.65 billion), from 1.31 billion pounds, London-based Glaxo said. Earnings excluding some items rose to 26.3 pence per share, from 25.6 pence, missing the 28.9 pence median estimate of analysts. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Witty made five acquisitions in the last six months, expanding in emerging markets and bringing in more consumer products to offset the impact of generic competition. Cheaper copies of the antidepressant Paxil CR and another four products trimmed 450 million pounds from sales compared with the same quarter a year earlier, Witty said. "Given the current economic downturn, overall sales growth was a very resilient performance," Witty said. He called 2009 "a year of two halves," with generic challenges at their "most extreme in the first six months."

Antidepressants Wellbutrin XL and Paxil CR, the Imitrex migraine pill, epilepsy drug Lamictal and Requip for restless legs all faced generic rivals in the U.S. The drugs had 586 million pounds in U.S. sales last year. "These were pretty big products so this was a difficult transition for them," said WestLB analyst Simon Mather. Mather, who has an "add" rating on the shares, said he is reviewing his price target of 1,400 pence.
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Title Annotation:CORPORATE; GlaxoSmithKline PLC
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Apr 27, 2009
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