GlaxoSmithKline could sell Lucozade and Ribena after Britain’s biggest pharmaceuticals firm today set out plans for a “strategic review” of the drinks brands.
The drugmaker’s chief executive, Sir Andrew Witty, said he was focused on the “two places where there are cast-iron synergies between pharma and the consumer business, which are over-the-counter medicines, such as Panadol, and emerging markets.
Lucozade and Ribena are iconic brands, but don’t naturally fit into those two places.
Witty said its review, which will be complete by the middle of this year, involved “truly no decisions taken or options ruled out — we could increase investments in certain parts of the world, find a partner, or divest the products.”
The announcement came as GSK suffered from European governments cutting back on healthcare and drugs spending, with annual turnover falling 1% to £26.4 billion in 2012, and pre-tax profits slipping 4% to £7.6 billion.
Total sales in emerging markets now account for just over a quarter of GSK’s business.