Drugmaker Sanofi: Net profit rose 26 percent in 4th quarter on lower charge for drug Lemtrada

Sanofi SA says its net profit soared 26.3 percent in the fourth quarter thanks to a lower charges against its Lemtrada multiple sclerosis treatment.

The world's third-largest drugmaker by sales reported net profit of 1.34 billion ($1.52 billion) in the period. Sanofi's year earlier earnings had been weighed down by a 919-million-euro charge mainly accounted for by a writedown on the value of Lemtrada.

The Paris-based company sacked CEO Christopher Viehbacher last October, citing a lack of communication with the board.

Interim boss Serge Weinberg told reporters on a conference call that the search for Viehbacher's replacement "is in the final stage" and that a new CEO would be named in the first quarter.