GSK's sales catch a winter cold

GlaxoSmithKline's sales dropped in the first quarter as revenue from flu products fell away sharply compared with last year's pandemic-linked surge.

Britain's biggest drug-maker admitted the first three months of 2011 were tough but said underlying growth was improving as its treatments adjust to pricing pressure and competition from generics.

Quarterly sales fell 10 per cent to £6.59bn but earnings per share rose 9 per cent as gains on sales of businesses cushioned profits from declining revenues.