Sanofi 1st-Quarter Net Profit Rises on Sale of Animal-Health Unit

By Noemie Bisserbe Features Dow Jones Newswires

French drugmaker Sanofi SA (SAN.FR) said first-quarter net profit jumped, boosted by the sale of its animal-health business.

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On Friday, the Paris-based drugmaker said net profit rose to 5.7 billion euros ($6.2 billion) from EUR1.09 billion a year earlier.

Business net income, the company's term for adjusted income excluding the impact of acquisitions and divestments, increased 4% to EUR1.8 billion, lifted by Genzyme, Sanofi's biotech business. That beat analysts' expectations of EUR1.6 billion, according to a poll by data provider FactSet. Total sales rose 11% to EUR8.65 billion.

Sanofi has said it still expects business earnings per share--excluding the impact of acquisitions and divestments--to be stable or decline by up to 3% in 2017 at constant exchange rates.

To revive growth, Sanofi has boosted its research and is seeking to acquire an innovative pharmaceutical company that could replenish its new drug pipeline. It lost out to Pfizer Inc. (PFE) in a bidding war for cancer drug maker Medivation in August. Late last year, talks with Actelion Ltd. (ATLN.EB) collapsed after the French major and the Swiss biotech failed to hash out an agreement. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) agreed to take over Actelion for $30 billion in January.

In January, Sanofi exchanged its animal-health business for most of Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH's consumer health-care business. Boehringer also paid Sanofi EUR4.7 billion as part of the deal.

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Write to Noemie Bisserbe at noemie.bisserbe@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 28, 2017 01:44 ET (05:44 GMT)