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Annual Report 2020

This page provides a summary of the progress we made in 2020 against our long-term priorities of Innovation, Performance and Trust, underpinned by a continuing shift in culture. The full Annual Report or individual sections can be downloaded below.

Download PDFs of the full report and individual sections

GSK at a glance

About us

Every day, we help improve the health of millions of people around the world by discovering, developing and manufacturing innovative medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products.

Our operations span the value chain from identifying, researching, developing and testing ground-breaking discoveries, to regulatory approval, manufacturing and commercialisation. We remained resilient through a challenging year for the world by being agile and maintaining focus on our purpose and strategic long-term priorities.

Central to our success are our people: experts in science, technology, regulation, intellectual property and commercialisation. We also collaborate with world-leading experts and form strategic partnerships to complement our existing capabilities.

Our purpose and strategy

Our purpose is to improve the quality of human life by helping people do more, feel better and live longer. It guides all of our actions and is key to the delivery of our strategy – to bring differentiated, high-quality and needed healthcare products to as many people as possible, preventing and treating disease and keeping people well with our scientific and technical know-how and talented people.

Our long-term priorities

Our priorities of Innovation, Performance and Trust are underpinned by our ambition to build a more purpose and performance driven culture, aligned to our values – patient focus, transparency, respect and integrity – and expectations – courage, accountability, development and teamwork.

Innovation is critical to how we improve health and create financial value. In 2020 Total R&D expenditure was £5.1 billion, which was 15.0% of turnover, and an increase of 12% (AER and CER) from the previous year. On an Adjusted basis, R&D expenditure was £4.6 billion (13.5% of turnover), 6% higher at AER, 7% higher at CER, than in 2019. On a pro-forma basis, Adjusted R&D expenditure grew 6% CER compared with 2019.

In Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines, we focus on science related to the immune system, human genetics and advanced technology. In Consumer Healthcare we leverage our scientific expertise and deep consumer insights to create healthcare products that meet consumer demands. As a research-based healthcare company we rely on intellectual property protection to help ensure a reasonable return on our investments so we can continue to research and develop new and innovative medicines.

Performance is delivered by investing effectively in our business and our people and executing competitively. Our ability to launch new products successfully and grow sales from our existing portfolio is key to our commercial success.

Trust is also critical to our success. We are a responsible company and commit to use our science and technology to address health needs, make our products affordable and available, and be a modern employer. Our 13 public commitments support our Trust priority and cover a broad range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects. The commitments are designed to help us respond to ESG challenges and opportunities within our industry and society more broadly and contribute to many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals particularly Goal 3: ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing.

The value we create

By delivering on our purpose, the greatest contribution we make is to improve the health of people around the world.

In 2020 that included delivering 2.2 billion packs of medicines, over 580 million vaccine doses and 3.8 billion consumer healthcare products.

For our shareholders, as part of our capital allocation framework, we invest in our business to provide shareholder returns. In 2020 we paid a dividend of 80p per share and delivered £5.4 billion of free cash flow.

We make a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate. We employ over 94,000 people across 96 countries and work directly with 36,000 suppliers. In 2020 we paid £1.7 billion in corporation tax. We aim to be a modern employer and offer a broad range of employee benefits, including preventative healthcare services, so that we are able to attract and retain the best people.

Financial performance

2020 performance summary

Group turnover
AER +1%
CER +3%
New and specialty medicines
AER +11%
CER +12%
Total operating profit
AER +12%
CER +15%
Adjusted operating profit
AER -1%
CER +2%
Total earnings per share
AER +23%
CER +26%
Adjusted earnings per share
AER -6%
CER -4%
major pipeline approvals 

in the Access to Medicine Index

in the pharmaceutical
industry for Dow Jones
Sustainability Index

Preparing for the future

Creating two new companies

In early 2020, consistent with our strategic priorities and previous announcements, we started a two-year programme to prepare GSK for separation into two new leading companies: New GSK, a new biopharma company, focused on specialty medicines and vaccines with an R&D approach focused on the science related to the immune system, the use of human genetics and new technologies; and a new leader in consumer healthcare with category-leading power brands and innovation based on science and consumer insights.

We are on track for separation into new standalone Biopharma and Consumer Healthcare companies in 2022.

The programme is using the unique catalyst of separation to reset the capabilities and cost base for both companies, and help support delivery of the significant value creation opportunities we see in both New GSK and new Consumer Healthcare.

For New GSK, we see a clear opportunity to drive a common approach to R&D as the science related to the immune system converges across both pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

During the year we achieved an important milestone with the launch of our One Development organisation in R&D. This is already enabling us to be even more effective in how we allocate our budget, share technical and scientific expertise and deliver our pipeline, regardless of modality.

Under the programme, we are seeking to improve our capabilities and create efficiencies in our global support functions; continuing to simplify and focus our manufacturing network, ensuring our supply chain is ready to launch our new specialty medicines; and rationalising our portfolio through divestments.

For the new Consumer Healthcare company, this programme is supporting the building of key technology infrastructure and the expertise necessary to operate as a standalone company.

We believe that increased investment in our pipeline and new products, together with effective implementation of our two-year programme, will set each new company up with strong foundations for future performance.

Our long-term priorities

We believe GSK’s long-term priorities will create lasting value for our patients, consumers and shareholders. In 2020, despite a very challenging operating environment, we delivered a resilient performance and our strategic objectives remain on track.


We invest in scientific and technical excellence to develop and launch a pipeline of new products that meet the needs of our patients, payers and consumers.

2020 objectives

  • Deliver Innovation sales with excellent commercial, R&D and supply chain execution
  • Further accelerate and strengthen pipeline with six potential approvals expected

2020 progress

  • Strong performance from new innovations including Shingrix, Trelegy, Juluca, Dovato and Zejula
  • Nine major regulatory approvals, including in HIV, Oncology and Respiratory
  • Extended indications across portfolio, including for Shingrix, Bexsero, Trelegy Ellipta and Benlysta
  • Accelerated pipeline with nine pivotal study starts and now have over 20 assets in late-stage development
  • Established multiple partnerships to develop COVID-19 solutions including with CureVac to develop next generation mRNA COVID vaccines and Vir Biothechnology for therapeutic antibody treatments
  • Strengthened capabilities with more than 20 business development deals
  • 28 first-market launches for Consumer Healthcare

2021 priority objectives

  • Deliver Innovation sales with excellent commercial, R&D and supply chain execution in Oncology, HIV and Vaccines
  • Accelerate and strengthen pipeline with robust commercial input, including business development


We deliver growth by investing effectively in our business, developing our people and executing competitively.

2020 objectives

  • Prioritise spending to deliver growth and return on investment
  • Successful Consumer Healthcare JV integration, including driving growth and delivering synergies
  • Deliver further capability building in specialty Pharmaceuticals
  • Deliver two-year programme to prepare GSK for separation into two new companies

2020 progress

  • Strong sales performance from key growth drivers in HIV, Respiratory, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare, reflecting our resource focus on therapy areas, markets and brands with greatest potential
  • Advanced Consumer Healthcare integration; on track for £500 million annual cost savings by 2022 and £1.1 billion divestment proceeds achieved
  • Advanced specialty medicine capabilities with over 500 new hires in Oncology
  • Programme to separate GSK into two leading businesses remains on track

2021 priority objectives

  • Continue to prioritise spending to deliver growth and return on investment
  • Continue to deliver two-year programme to prepare GSK for separation into two new leading companies
  • Build a stronger, more diverse workforce for two new leading companies


We are a responsible company. We commit to use our science and technology to address health needs, make our products affordable and available and be a modern employer

2020 objectives

  • Continue to deliver on-time, in-full supply of our products
  • Build reputation with a focus on Innovation
  • Deliver progress on Trust commitments

2020 progress

  • Sector leading positions in ESG indices including 1st in the Access to Medicine Index
  • Despite the pandemic, we have been able to maintain the supply of our pharmaceutical, vaccine and consumer healthcare products and continue manufacturing without significant disruption
  • FDA and EMA approved paediatric dolutegravir
  • Joined global efforts to develop COVID-19 solutions and supported partners
  • Set ambitious new environmental sustainability goals in climate and nature
  • Introduced all-employee mandatory inclusion and diversity training

2021 priority objectives

  • Continue to deliver on-time, in-full supply of our products
  • Improve manager capability to motivate, focus, develop and care for people
  • Continue to deliver progress on Trust commitments