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Glaxo profits soar £995m to hit £1.7bn

By Ben Woods

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) booked a jump in first-quarter profits thanks to strong sales of new drugs and a currency boost from the Brexit-hit pound.

The FTSE-100 drugs giant said total operating profits jumped by £995m to £1.7bn in the first quarter of 2017, with a healthy demand for meningitis medicine bolstering vaccine sales by 31%.

GSK, which reports in sterling but makes the majority of its sales overseas, has been enjoying an uplift from sterling's slump since the EU referendum vote, while the disposal of its anaesthesia business and tighter cost controls have also boosted profits. The update will bring some cheer to new chief executive Emma Walmsley.

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