Sanofi Q1 sales rise but slide in US diabetes drug sales to continue

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Sanofi reported sales rose 11 per cent in the first quarter boosted by the acquisition of Boehringer Ingelheim’s CHC business and growth in emerging markets.

First quarter sales at the French drugmaker grew to €8.65bn on unadjusted currency terms supported by consolidation in it European vaccine operations and growth in speciality care, vaccines and emerging markets, the company said. This was above a Bloomberg consensus estimate of €7.78bn.

Sanofi said exchange rate movements provided a 2.5 percentage point boost to sales as the dollar, Brazilian Real and Japanese yen offset the negative impact from the pound, Turkish Lira and Egyptian pound.

Business net income, the company’s preferred measure that excludes certain items, increased 4.2 per cent to €1.79bn during the first quarter. At constant exchange rates the rise was 1 per cent.

Sanofi chief executive officer Olivier Brandicourt said:

We have started the year with robust growth driven by Specialty Care and Vaccines as well as good performance in Emerging Markets. Our top line in the first quarter also benefited from the integration of the Boehringer Ingelheim CHC and European vaccine businesses.

Diabetes drug sales decreased 6 per cent in the first quarter to €1.66bn as sales of blockbuster drug Lantus slipped 14.7 per cent in the US to €839m. The drug, which saw sales of $6bn in 2015 but lost patent protection in the same year and is now under pressure from a cheaper “biosimilar” alternative version made by Eli Lilly.

Sanofi said it expects the sales decline for its Diabetes drugs in the US to accelerate for the remainder of the year.

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