Sales: $2.7 billion
Andrew Witty, chief executive officer; John Clarke, president, consumer healthcare
Oral care products such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, dry mouthand denture care products sold under brand names of Aquafresh, Sensodyne, Biotene, Polident, Poligrip, Corega, Odol, Macleans and Dr. Best
Aquafresh and Sensodyne Iso-active foaming gels, zinc-free Poligrip, Stiefel skin care (acquisition)
Sales of oral healthcare products rose 7% to more than $2.3 billion. Sensodyne performed strongly with sales up 13% to $715 million. Denture care sales grew 8% to $526 million. Sales of Aquafresh declined 1%, as a reduction in the U.S. “white trays” market offset growth of 5% in the U.S. The Aquafresh toothpaste brand was helped by the launch of the new iso-active product.
The iso-active foaming gel within its Aquafresh and Sensodyne families is packaged in bag-in-valve canisters and the gel-to-foam action is a result of the inclusion of isopentane, which responds to increases in temperature, such as in the user’s mouth once she starts brushing. The foaming action disperses active ingredients quickly to penetrate hard-to-reach areas of the mouth—a critical component to improving overall oral health, according to GSK. Available in five different varieties, the Iso-active technology has been available in Europe since 2007 and debuted in the U.S. last summer.
For the first quarter of 2010, corporate sales rose 13% to $11.5 billion. Oral care sales rose 5% to $594 million. Sales of Sensodyne surged 21% to $207 million, offsetting a 29% decline in Poligrip sales following the company’s decision in February to end production of the zinc-containing product and to move to zinc-free alternatives, which reached markets in May. The move came after several lawsuits regarding the use of zinc in denture cream. Zinc was added to the formulas in the 1990s to boost holding power, but zinc can trigger muscle weakness and poor balance in large doses, according to lawsuits. According to experts, zinc causes the body to leach copper, which is needed for proper muscle and nerve function.
Little more than a year ago, GSK completed its acquisition of Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., billed as the world’s largest independent dermatology company for $2.9 billion. GSK also assumed $400 million of net debt.
In announcing the deal, Andrew Witty, chief executive officer of GSK, said, “As part of our strategy to grow and diversify GSK’s business, we are continuing to make new investments through targeted acquisitions. This transaction will create a new world-leading, specialist dermatology business and re-energise our existing dermatology products. The addition of Stiefel’s broad portfolio will provide immediate new revenue flows to GSK with significant opportunities to enhance growth through leveraging our existing global commercial infrastructure and manufacturing capability. We look forward to working with Stiefel to develop this exciting opportunity.”
The new business will have a broad portfolio of dermatology products including Stiefel brands Duac for acne, Olux E for dermatitis and Soriatane for the treatment of severe psoriasis.Stiefel also sells the Revaléskin skin care brand, which is sold through aesthetic physicians.
Sales of Stiefel’s products for the calendar year ended 2008 were approximately $900 million, with prescription dermatology products accounting for approximately $550 million.