Thursday, September 3, 2015

GlaxoSmithKline sees sales rising in emerging markets

The strategy of CEO Andrew Witty is reflected in the most recent quarterly results as Europe and the U.S. account for a smaller percentage of overall sales.

GlaxoSmithKline sees sales rising in emerging markets


The playbook for the pharmaceutical industry has always seemed to be: Think globally, but the U.S. is what really matters.

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty has been redirecting his company to think globally and make money globally.

“Less than 30 percent of this quarter’s sales were generated from what I call ‘white pill western markets’ compared to 38 percent in the quarter before I took over as CEO,” Witty told analysts on a conference call.

That doesn’t mean GlaxoSmithKline’s ignoring the U.S. In fact, Witty got the chance to brag a little: “I think it’s probably a rare occasion as CEO of a drug company, you can go on to a quarterly call and say that they’ve received three new molecular entity approvals in the last seven days.”

I count it as 10 days, but that’s a great run. The Food and Drug Administration approved its Cervarix cervical cancer vaccine on Oct. 16, its Votrient kidney cancer treatment on Oct. 19, and Arzerra for leukemia on Oct. 26.

What curse?

Liberty Property Trust vice president of investor relations Jeanne Leonard had her fastball working yesterday.

She brushed me back for implying in Wednesday’s column that the office and industrial property developer is “less Phillies-crazy that our fellow Philadelphia corporations.”

Far from it. If any company has taken more flak for Philadelphia’s professional sports championship drought from 1983 to 2008 than Liberty, I don’t know who it is.

It was Liberty’s founder, the late Willard G. Rouse III, who built One Liberty Place in 1980s, the first tower to soar over the William Penn statue atop City Hall. Superstition led some fans to link the city’s lack of Super Bowl wins or Stanley Cups over a 25-year stretch to a “Billy Penn curse.”

More recently, when Liberty developed Comcast Center, the company made sure a small replica of the city’s founder was glued to the roof. Just in case. And of course, the Phillies then won the World Series last year.

So that’s why Leonard picks the Phils to win in five games over the Yankees.

“Keep in mind that we’ve still got Billy Penn happily rooting for the Phillies from the top of Comcast Center,” Leonard wrote in an e-mail.

Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at

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