SmithKline made pre-tax profits of pounds 1.5b in 1996 on sales of pounds 7.9bn. Its shares trade on a historic price/earnings ratio of 38.6: the industry average is 24. AHP had pounds 8.6bn sales in 1996, and pre-tax profits of pounds 1.6bn. Its shares' historic PE is nearly 30.
In prescription drugs, AHP-SmithKline would leapfrog Glaxo Wellcome to first place in the $222bn market. SmithKline is best known for anti-ulcerant Tagament, antibiotic Augmentin, and antidepressant Seroxat and produces many vaccines. AHP sells Premarin, the biggest-selling antidote for osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, the anxiety drug Effexor, the antibiotic Minocin and other major drugs.
SmithKline generates about 30 per cent of its sales in over-the-counter remedies such as Tums antacids, Aquafresh dental products and Panadol analgesics. AHP sells the analgesic Advil and oral contraceptives.
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