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Sanofi-aventis reports good Q1 performance

Sanofi-aventis has announced adjusted earnings per share were up 9.8 per cent at constant exchange rates for the first quarter of 2009

Sanofi-aventis has announced adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were up 9.8 per cent at constant exchange rates for the first quarter of 2009.

Consolidated net income was €1,578m, up on the €1,325m figure for the same period of 2008.

Sales growth was driven by strong performances from the company's flagship products, Lantus (up 27.1 per cent), Taxotere (up 8.3 per cent), Aprovel (up 11.1 per cent), and from vaccines (up 9.1 per cent). There was also strong growth in Plavix worldwide (up 8.6 per cent). 

Sales were up 5.1 per cent in the US, 8 per cent in emerging markets and 13.8 per cent in Japan. 

The company cited continuing tight control over industrial and operating costs as one of the reasons for the good figures, and said cash flow for the quarter had been sufficient to fund the acquisition of Zentiva and reduce net debt from €1.8bn to €1.2bn. 

The US Food and Drug Administration advisory committee's recommendation for approval of Multaq for atrial fibrillation in March had further boosted the results. 

Sanofi-aventis also highlighted significant gains in its generics business, with 2008 proforma net sales of approximately €1.2bn due to the acquisitions of Zentiva, Medley and Kendrick. It has refocused its R&D portfolio to concentrate on the most promising projects and accelerated external R&D alliances. Acquisition of BiPar Sciences strengthened its oncology R&D portfolio with the addition of the PARP inhibitor BSI-201.

Sanofi-aventis confirmed its expectations for growth in 2009 adjusted EPS excluding selected items of at least 7 per cent at constant exchange rates, barring major adverse events.

29th April 2009

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