Sales: $3.3 billion for oral care products. Corporate Sales: $38.7 billion.
Key Personnel: Emma Walmsley, chief executive officer; Iain Mackay, chief financial officer; Dr. Hal Barron, chief scientific officer and president, R&D; Roger Connor, president, global vaccines; Diana Conrad, senior vice president, human resources; James Ford, senior vice president and general counsel; Nick Hirons, senior vice president, global ethics and compliance; Sally Jackson, senior vice president, global communications and CEO office; Brian McNamara, CEO, GSK consumer healthcare; Luke Miels, president, global pharmaceuticals; David Redfern, chief strategy officer; Karenann Terrell, chief digital & technology officer; Phil Thomson, president, global affairs; Regis Simard, president, pharmaceuticals supply chain.
Major Products: Oral care—Sensodyne, Polident/Corega, Parodontax, Biotene and Aquafresh.
New Products: Polident Clean and Refresh Wipes, Sensodyne Rapid Relief.
Comments: Corporate sales grew 2% in 2018, driven by new pharmaceutical products. Oral health sales grew 1% to $3.3 billion, as increased competitive pressures in Europe were offset by double digit growth from Sensodyne in a number of international markets, including India and Turkey, and strong single-digit relief in the US driven by Sensodyne Rapid Relief. The company’s premium gum health brand Parodontax/Corsodyl became the world’s fastest growing global toothpaste, outperforming the market four-fold, driven by continued momentum in the US since its launch in 2017, and a strategic brand repositioning across 40 countries.
CEO Emma Walmsley, who stepped into the role in 2017, has been shaking things up at the three-century old global drug company. During 2018, GSK made progress against its performance priority to deliver sales growth, operating margin improvements and attractive returns, by buying Novartis out of its consumer healthcare joint venture for $13 billion in June. This gave GSK full control of products including Sensodyne toothpaste, Panadol headache tablets, muscle gel Voltaren and Nicotinell patches.
In December, the company announced the sale of Horlicks and other consumer nutrition brands to Unilever. As part of this transaction, GSK announced that it would merge its 72.5% stake in GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Limited in India with Hindustan Unilever Limited. The proposed merger includes a distribution arrangement, which will allow Hindustan Unilever Limited to leverage its scale and strong reach to sell and distribute GSK’s OTC and oral health brands in India. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019.
At the end of 2018, GSK reached an agreement with Pfizer to combine its consumer healthcare businesses to create a new world-leading joint venture with combined sales of approximately $12.7 billion. This brings together two highly complementary portfolios of trusted consumer healthcare brands, including GSK’s Sensodyne, Voltaren and Panadol and Pfizer’s, Advil, Centrum and Caltrate. The new consumer health giant will have a market share of 7.3%, which is well ahead of its nearest rivals, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer and Sanofi. Together, these moves give GSK the confidence to improve its margin target to mid-to-high-20s by 2022, assuming the close of the transaction with Pfizer.
For the first quarter of 2019, consumer healthcare sales declined 1%, reflecting growth in wellness, oral health and nutrition, offset by a decline in skin health, the divestments of some smaller brands including Horlicks and MaxiNutrition in the UK and the impact of the implementation of the Goods & Services Tax in India.
In June, GSK formed a partnership with the University of California in which the company will provide up to $67 million over five years to fund research using the gene-editing tool CRISPR to develop new medicines. The partnership will create a new lab, called the Laboratory for Genomics Research, near UCSF’s Mission Bay campus in San Francisco, and jobs for 24 university employees and up to 14 GSK employees.