By Donato Paolo Mancini
Pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA (SAN.FR) said Friday that first-quarter sales and net income decreased as it announced a share buyback program.
Net profit decreased to 1.02 billion euros ($1.24 billion) from EUR5.70 billion in the same quarter of 2017, when results were boosted by the sale of Sanofi's Animal Health business. Net sales were EUR7.90 billion compared with EUR8.65 billion.
The company confirmed its 2018 guidance, expecting earnings-per-share growth of between 2% and 5%. Sanofi said it expects "a new period of growth" to begin in the second half.
Sales declined in the U.S., Europe, and the rest of the world, but grew in emerging markets, boosted by Eurasia and Latin America, it said. It plans additional launches in emerging markets after entering Colombia this year.
Sanofi said it plans a share buyback valued at EUR1.5 billion, to be completed by mid-2019.
The loss of exclusivity in the U.S. of insulin analog Lantus and sevelamer, used to treat kidney disease, dragged overall sales down while the specialty-care Genzyme division grew.
Sanofi's rare-disease line grew to EUR695 million, boosted by double-digit growth in Cerdelga, which used for the treatment of Gaucher's disease. Sales in its oncology, diabetes, and established prescription products declined, Sanofi said.
Write to Donato Paolo Mancini at [email protected]