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Full year earnings at Sanofi-Aventis are above expectations due to the strong sales of its swine flu vaccine, with the drug maker posting a 10% increase in fourth quarter net profit.
The French company’s net profit rose to euro1.8 billion (£1.43bn) in the fourth quarter of last year, from euro1.63bn a year previously. The firm’s human vaccines business was boosted by a record rise of 64.6% in revenue.
Sanofi-Aventis sold 100 million doses of pandemic vaccines in 2009 and earnings per share on an adjusted basis increased by 13.1% at constant exchange rates, higher than the 11% target set by the firm in October.
Christopher Viehbacher, who became chief executive of the company early last year, said in a statement that: “major steps have already been achieved in strengthening our growth platforms and reinforcing our R&D pipeline while delivering a double-digit EPS growth.”
Under Mr Viehbacher’s leadership, Sanofi-Aventis has replaced ageing blockbuster drugs with new treatments and helped the company take on generic competition.
Copyright Press Association 2010