Emma Walmsley, the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, dismissed concerns about its leadership, saying she is a “change agent” committed to following the spin-off of its consumer health department Change this British drugmaker.
Under pressure from the American hedge fund Elliott Management, Walmsley stated on Wednesday her vision for the group. The goal is to reach 33 billion pounds in sales by 2031 and overcome the expiration of key HIV drug patents by the end of the decade.
In the next five years, the company expects annual sales to grow by more than 5% and adjusted operating profit to grow by more than 10%, which is higher than market expectations.
Walmsley told the Financial Times that she refused to be distracted by questions about her leadership.
“My team and I are completely focused on not being distracted. Of course, the shareholders who support this strategy definitely want us to focus on execution, and they don’t want us to be distracted by execution. This is my job as a leader,” she said .
Wormsley declined to comment on whether Elliott saw the plan, saying that GlaxoSmithKline “always pays close attention” to short-term and long-term shareholders. Elliott holds billions of pounds in the company this year, Won some support Worried that she might not be the right CEO of the drug maker.
When asked if she should lead GlaxoSmithKline after the spin-off, despite her background in the consumer business, she said: “I don’t spend time talking about everything I shouldn’t do. I’m a change agent. I’m a business leader. I’m very excited about GlaxoSmithKline’s new plan.”
The streamlined GlaxoSmithKline will retain shares in its spin-off consumer health department, which can then be sold to promote investment in its pharmaceutical pipeline. Next year, GlaxoSmithKline will be listed on the London Stock Exchange, splitting at least four-fifths of its 68% of the consumer health joint venture with Pfizer, but plans to retain as much as 20%. Shares in order to monetize them in a “timely” manner. The way” is through selling on the open market. Before the spin-off, the company had received up to 8 billion pounds in dividends from the division.
Walmsley said the proposal was “very, very beneficial to shareholders.”
The measure is a compromise because some shareholders are reluctant to buy shares again in the initial public offering, while others are urging GlaxoSmithKline to raise more funds for mergers or internal drug development to strengthen its pipeline.
The company warned that due to the loss of the cash-generating consumer sector, it will cut dividends after the spin-off next year to preserve investment funds.
The group’s total dividend payment from GlaxoSmithKline and consumer healthcare next year is expected to be 55 pence, a drop of more than 30% from 2020. The new drugmaker will pay a dividend of 45 pence in 2023 and promises a payout ratio of 40% to 60% based on a progressive dividend policy.
GlaxoSmithKline’s stock price fell 6% last year, but rose 3% to 1,439 pence at lunchtime in London.
“I am very aware that GlaxoSmithKline’s stock has been underperforming for a long time,” Walmsley said. “The transformation achieved in the past four years has created a completely different growth platform.”