(Bloomberg) -- GSK Plc reported better-than-expected profit and said earnings will advance this year, powered by demand for vaccines. 

Operating profit excluding some costs could rise as much as 12% in 2023, the UK drugmaker said Wednesday, more than analysts had anticipated. Earnings per share last quarter climbed to 25.8 pence excluding some costs, also beating estimates. The shares gained as much as 1.5% in early London trading. 

GSK is counting on vaccines like Shingrix, which prevents the viral infection shingles, and a new product awaiting approval for a respiratory virus as Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley narrows the pharma company’s focus on cutting-edge drugs and vaccines. 

Walmsley is working to rejuvenate the company’s pipeline, clinching deals in profitable areas like cancer after the separation of the consumer-health business last year. 

GSK may find out this week whether the US Food and Drug Administration is willing to approve a potential blockbuster pill called daprodustat intended to treat anemia due to chronic kidney disease.

“We enter 2023 with good momentum,” Walmsley said in a statement. 

The drugmaker anticipates regulatory clearances on another three medicines, including a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus that has GSK racing against Pfizer Inc. The company also bought Affinivax Inc. last year, getting access to a potential next-generation technology to bolster its vaccines business.

The company’s antibody Benlysta got orphan drug status from the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of systemic sclerosis. The company plans to start mid- and later-stage trials in the first half.

GSK said it doesn’t expect the pandemic to have a significant impact on sales or earnings this year.

(Updates with share gain in second paragraph)

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