Vaccines were a key driver of growth for drug-maker >GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals , which grew at 34 per cent last year.

With products such as Synflorix, Rotarix (that protects against rotavirus) and cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix, vaccines accounted for 13 per cent of the multinational drug-maker’s pharmaceutical sales, GSK Pharma’s Senior Executive Director Mehernosh Kapadia told Business Line . Synflorix, a new-generation paediatric vaccine targeting invasive pneumococcal disease, clocked revenues of Rs 61 crore, he added.

Difficult conditions

The year also saw GSK stop exports to its parent, following the shut-down of its Thane plant, he said. Production from the plant was about Rs 10-15 crore, he said. Most of the 300-odd people at the plant have accepted the Voluntary Retirement Scheme, a company official added.

The operating environment had its challenges in terms of material cost increases and significant investments in field force expansion. But the year ahead, Kapadia said, is expected to grow in line with the market, at about 12-14 per cent.

GSK Pharma closed 2012 at revenues of Rs 2,630 crore, compared with Rs 2,375 crore in the previous year. It clocked a net profit of Rs 577 crore this year, against Rs 430 crore last year.

“In 2012, growth was broad-based across the company. Mass markets grew well. Vaccines continued the growth momentum by growing ahead of the market. Mass Specialty and Specialty, both showed market competitive growth,” said GSK Pharma India Chief, Dr Hasit Joshipura.

The year also saw new products launched across therapeutic areas, including dermatology product Altargo; Volibris (Ambrisentan) that treats pulmonary arterial hypertension and Hycamtin to fulfil unmet needs of patients with advance cancers and relapsed small-cell lung cancer. The company also forayed into the central nervous system category, with the launch of Lamictal, a newer epileptic drug for partial and generalised seizures in children and adults. It is also used in bipolar disorder, to prevent mood episodes such as depression and mania.

Dividend payout

The board recommended a dividend of Rs 50 per equity share for the year and GSK Pharma will fork out Rs 424 crore towards this, if approved by shareholders. The dividend distribution tax borne by the company will amount to Rs 64 crore.