Sanofi pins hopes on 2018 for growth after recent takeover deals

Eric Piermont | AFP | Getty Images

French drugmaker Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt addresses the pharmaceutical group’s general meeting in Paris on May 4, 2016.

Sanofi expects 2018 to mark a return to growth on the back of two recently announced acquisitions and a revamped pipeline, after it posted fourth-quarter profits slightly below expectations, hurt by a charge for its dengue vaccine.

France’s largest drugmaker said on Wednesday that it forecast earnings per share growing between 2-5 percent at constant exchange rates this year, after a 0.4 percent drop in 2017.

Sanofi scored two big takeover deals last month, agreeing to buy U.S group Bioverativ for $11.6 billion and Belgium’s Ablynx for 3.9 billion euros ($4.8 billion).

The company said it had recorded an impairment of tangible assets of 87 million euros related to Dengvaxia, its dengue vaccine currently at the centre of a health scare in the Philippines, in the fourth quarter.

Sanofi revealed in November that Dengvaxia — the world’s first dengue vaccine — might increase the risk of severe disease in people who had never been exposed to the virus.

Fourth-quarter business net income fell 10.8 percent at constant exchange rates to 1.33 billion euros. Total sales rose 4.1 percent to 8.7 billion euros.

Analysts polled by Reuters in partnership with Inquiry Financial had on average been expecting business net profit of 1.46 billion euros and net sales of 8.7 billion.

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