FDI of the Month

March 2016: GSK

By Business & Finance
01 April 2016
GSK Cork
Pictured (L-R) Kevin O’Keeffe, engineering director, GSK Cork; Roger Connor, Global Manufacturing Supply president, GSK; Dave Tudor, GSK Supply Chain head primary; and Joe Power, site director, GSK Cork

Pharmaceutical and healthcare company GSK recently announced the opening of a 12m investment project at its Currabinny-based manufacturing site in Cork.

€9.5m kilo scale facility and a €2.5m technical development laboratory were opened by Roger Connor, GSK’s Global Manufacturing Supply president and Joe Power, GSK’s Cork site director, in February.

The new purpose-built kilo scale facility will allow the site to begin manufacturing highly specialised active ingredients for newer targeted oncology medicines, while the new technical development laboratory will enhance GSK’s ability to improve its current product portfolio.

GSK employs 450 employees at the Cork site. The global healthcare company employs over 1,800 staff across four locations in Ireland – Cork, Dublin, Waterford and Sligo.

Kevin O’Keefe, head of Engineering, GSK Cork, said: “Our new kilo scale facility represents an important new opportunity for GSK in Cork. The plant will expand our operating scale to allow us introduce new targeted medicines that require highly specialised manufacturing equipment. This investment opens up new potential for Cork to produce these in the future.”

Joe Power, site director, added: “This substantial investment demonstrates GSK’s strong commitment to our Cork site. It’s a wonderful endorsement of the world-class technical capability we have here and will work to attract new business for the operation. It will also be very rewarding for our employees, knowing the difference they will be making to patients all over the world who will ultimately take the medicines that started out here in Cork.”

GSK has now invested over €700m in the Cork site since its inception in 1974, and last year the company invested €30m in R&D in Ireland. Last year the pharmaceutical giant also announced 50 jobs at its site in Sligo, which also celebrated its 40th anniversary that year, taking the total employed at GSK Sligo to 250. The new jobs are in areas such as engineering, quality, technical, logistics, finance and project management, as the site transitions to what GSK describes as a “single state-of-the-art manufacturing operating model”, manufacturing Stiefel skincare products serving over 70 markets.

GSK also announced its Q2 earnings for 2015. These were GSK’s first full quarter results since the closure of its innovative transaction with Novartis. The results were encouraging with group sales up 7%, which was an early positive signal of the benefits the transaction is delivering for GSK.

According to Aidan Lynch, VP and GM of GSK Pharmaceuticals in Ireland, the company is performing well. “The pace of change has been phenomenal, and we have all had to react, respond, and adapt, in order to survive. Over the last few years, we have all had to be realists in Ireland and adjust our sails accordingly. Certainly, GSK has been no different, but I’m proud to say that not only are we surviving, we are succeeding.”

Lynch was Business & Finance Business Person of the Month for July last year.

About the head of Irish operations

Aidan Lynch GSKAidan Lynch is vice president and general manager of GSK Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining GSK he worked in the music and food industries in Ireland, having returned from Australia where he lived for 14 years. Before being appointed general manager in October 2012, Lynch held a number of financial and commercial roles during his 12 years in GSK.

In 2014, he was appointed president of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and was re-elected to the Board of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. He is also a Board member of the children’s charity Barretstown, a Serious Fun Camp and also sits on the board of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA).