GSK sees dip in impulse buys

The public are increasingly holding back from making impulse purchases, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline said, as he revealed that the company's UK consumer business had seen a slowdown in recent weeks.

"We have seen [a] slowdown in consumer purchase patters in the last six weeks or so," Andrew Witty said. "We are buying a little bit less impulse products – the kind of products you pick up in the garage after you fill your car up with petrol... products like Lucozade," he added, referring to the company's energy drink.

His comments came as the pharmaceuticals group issued third-quarter results showing that its sales had returned to growth. At £7.1bn, turnover was up 4 per cent on a year ago, slightly ahead of expectations.