Sales: $2.8 billion
Key Personnel: Andrew Witty, chief executive officer; Roger Connor, president, global manufacturing and supply; Simon Dingemans, chief financial officer; David Redfern, chief strategy officer; Emma Walmsley, chief executive officer, GSK Consumer Healthcare.
Major Products: Oral care—AquaFresh, Biotene, Dr. Best, Macleans, Odol and Sensodyne. Denture care—Polident, Poligrip and Corega.
New Products: Sensodyne True White, Sensodyne Complete, Sensodyne Repair & Protect; and Pronamel Multi-Action.
Comments: A nearly $3 billion toothpaste business is nothing to frown at—unless it’s part of an overall pharma business that’s involved in a $16 billion deal with a competitor that promises to reshape its vaccine business. That’s been the case at GSK, which completed a three-part transaction with Novartis earlier this year involving, vaccines, oncology and a consumer healthcare JV.
Despite that sizeable distraction, GSK’s oral care sales rose 4% last year, a bright spot for a pharmaceutical company that reported a 3% decline in corporate sales. Consumer demand for specialty formulas provided a lift, as sales of Sensodyne for sensitivity and acid erosion, as well as gum health, each rose 11%. Growth was reported in emerging and well-established markets, with notable successes in China and North America, according to GSK.
The oral care business got off to a fast start in 2015, as first quarter sales rose on the strength of the Sensodyne Repair & Protect launch.