GlaxoSmithKline sees sales return to growth

Avantia pills and bottle
Image caption Diabetes drug Avandia was banned in Europe because of a suspected link to heart disease

UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline says its sales have returned to growth during the three months to 30 September after a decline earlier in the year.

The company reported an improved pre-tax profit of £1.9bn, up from £1.8bn during the same period in 2010.

Revenues at the firm had fallen after its Avandia diabetes drug was banned in Europe because of a suspected link to heart disease.

The company said sales in Europe fell 1% because of the weak economy.

"The environment for pharmaceutical and consumer products remains challenging. The impact of healthcare reform in the US and price cuts in Europe this year is in line with our expectations and we continue to expect a full year impact of around £325m," said chief executive Andrew Witty.

The firm also announced it had received the first data on a possible partial vaccine for malaria, though fuller - phase three - trial results are not expected for three years.

The initial results were reviewed in the New England Journal of Medcine.

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