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Sanofi Q4 Profit Surges, Sees Earnings Growth In FY19

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French drug giant Sanofi SA (SNYNF,SNY) reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit doubled from last year driven by higher net sales. Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, the company expects business earnings per share to grow between 3 percent and 5 percent at constant exchange rates.

Sanofi Chief Executive Officer, Olivier Brandicourt, said, "In the fourth quarter, we continued the momentum of the previous quarter and we delivered 5 percent full-year business EPS growth, at the high end of our guidance. ...As we enter 2019, our focus remains on delivering our business priorities and transforming Sanofi to address the evolving business dynamics facing our industry."

For the 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.

Total Pharmaceuticals sales increased 3 percent at constant rates to 6.28 billion euros. 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.

Consumer Healthcare or CHC sales increased 1.9 percent, supported by Emerging Markets. DCV GBU sales were down 11.3 percent and Global Diabetes franchise sales declined 10.5 percent in line with 2015-2018 guidance.

In the quarter, emerging markets sales were up 6.0 percent, reflecting strong performance in Asia.

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

In Paris, Sanofi shares were trading at 76.43euros, up 0.51 percent.

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