Andrew Witty, in his fourth year as chief executive officer at GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), provided a state of the company overview as GSK reported a return to profitability in the fourth quarter on Tuesday.

“For us the headwinds that we’ve faced for the last four or five years are diminishing, and we’ve been building more of our own tailwinds in terms of our R&D portfolio and the investment we’ve been making in our new growth business like emerging markets, consumer, the vaccine business,” he said in a video interview.

Very exciting for Witty is the progress he said GSK is making in research and development.

“And also for me‐ very exciting during the year ‐ it was a great year for R&D,” he said. “As you know one of the big, big focus points for us over the last four years has really been to reenergize our R&D organization and we saw some very, very good progress on that front. And we announced today we already have, this early in the year, four new products ready to file with many more reporting more data later in the year. So, overall, I think 2011was a good year for GSK. It was certainly a year where I would say we are absolutely on track for our goals.”

Watch the video here.

Read the full transcript of the interview here.

GSK operates its U.S. headquarters in the U.K.

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