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GlaxoSmithKline's profits climb nearly 3-fold in Q4

LONDON--GlaxoSmithKline says fourth-quarter earnings nearly tripled and sales rose 5 percent, even as an ongoing investigation hurt business in China.

Net income rose to 2.5 billion pounds (US$4.1 billion) from 848 million pounds a year earlier, thanks partly to profits on the sale of some businesses. Sales grew, particularly in India, despite a 24 percent drop in China.

The company has been hit by allegations by the Chinese government that four of its employees bribed doctors and hospitals to encourage them to prescribe medications.

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