Sanofi-Aventis has revealed that its net profit in the fourth quarter rose by 31%, and was boosted by sales of blood-thinner Plavix (clopidogrel) in the US and cost-cutting measures.
The pharmaceutical giant said profits in the three months up to December rose to $1095.01m from $836.16m in the same period a year earlier.
The group added that profit before merger and restructuring costs was $2.12bn up 6.2% from $2.01bn and slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations.
Last year’s net result had been hit by a $311.2m charge.
Sales of the company’s top 15 products fell by 0.3% in the quarter to $6.06bn, as the company faced increased competition from generic versions of sleeping pill Ambien IR (zolpidem) in the United States and its cancer treatment Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) in Europe.
However, the group’s key drugs charted strong performances, with blood-thinning treatment Plavix, antithrombotic Lovenox (enoxaparin), and diabetes treatment Lantus (insulin glargine) posting comparable sales growth of 14%, 17% and 31% respectively.
But the group said that the strong euro had hit the company’s reported sales, and reduced them by 4.2%.
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