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Sanofi Q4 Profit Doubles; Sees Growth In FY19 Business EPS

French drug giant Sanofi SA (SNYNF,SNY) reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter IFRS net income attributable to equity holders doubled to 254 million euros from 126 million euros last year. Earnings per share were 0.20 euro, up from 0.10 euro a year ago.

Business net income was 1.36 billion euros or 1.10 euros per share, compared to 1.33 billion euros or 1.06 euros per share a year ago.

IFRS net sales grew 3.5 percent to 9.00 billion euros from 8.69 billion euros last year, driven by Specialty Care and Vaccines. Net sales grew 3.9 percent at constant exchange rates.

Sanofi Genzyme sales rose 37.4 percent, led by Immunology and Rare Blood Disorder franchises. Vaccines sales increased 9.7 percent, driven by successful influenza differentiation strategy and Menactra.

Further, the company's board has proposed a dividend of 3.07 euros per share, representing the 25th consecutive increase in dividend.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, Sanofi expects business earnings per share to grow between 3 percent and 5 percent at constant exchange rates, barring unforeseen major adverse events.

Applying average January 2019 exchange rates, the positive currency impact on 2019 business earnings per share is estimated to be between 1 percent to 2 percent.

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