Sanofi posts rise in Q1 sales, profit, boosted by performance of Dupixent, vaccine

Headline results for the first quarter:

Prescription drug sales

6.3 billion euros ($7 billion)

+5.3%

Revenue

8.4 billion euros ($9.4 billion; in line with forecasts)

+6.2%

Profit

1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion)

+11.9%

Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated

What the company said:

"I am pleased with the strong start in 2019 as we sustained our new growth phase," remarked CEO Olivier Brandicourt, adding that the results were buoyed "by the impressive uptake" of Dupixent in atopic dermatitis and asthma, while there was also "strong growth" of vaccines.

Other results:

  • Genzyme unit: 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion), up 36.1 percent
    • Dupixent: 329 million euros ($366 million), up 207.5 percent, driven by continued growth in adult atopic dermatitis and by the asthma launch in the US
    • Eloctate: 174 million euros ($194 million), up 304.7 percent, although sales in the US were hit by the "increased competitive environment" in the factor replacement category
  • Diabetes unit: 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion), down 4.6 percent
    • Lantus: 774 million euros ($862 million), down 15 percent, negatively affected by lower average net prices in the US, as well as branded and biosimilar competition in Europe
    • Toujeo: 211 million euros ($235 million), up 7.1 percent, although US sales dropped 24.7 percent on a constant currency basis to 69 million euros ($77 million) as a result of lower average net prices
  • Aubagio: 437 million euros ($487 million), up 17.8 percent, boosted by the US and emerging markets
  • Praluent: 56 million euros ($62 million), up 14.3 percent, with growth in Europe offsetting a 26.9-percent drop in US sales to 20 million euros ($22 million) due to "significantly higher rebates"
  • Vaccines division: 873 million euros ($972 million), up 22.8 percent, buoyed by the performance in emerging markets, where sales were up 48.3 percent at 349 million euros ($389 million)
  • Emerging markets: 2.7 billion euros ($3 billion), up 13.6 on a constant currency basis, with sales in China growing 22.3 percent to 798 million euros ($889 million)

Looking ahead:

Sanofi confirmed that it expects business earnings per share to grow between 3 percent and 5 percent on a constant currency basis, with the currency impact estimated to be around 2 percent. The company noted that it left its forecast unchanged due to uncertainties over China's new drug procurement programme, which is seen curbing growth of Plavix and Avapro in the country.

What analysts said:

"Stronger Dupixent is positive given its long-term importance," remarked Jefferies analyst Peter Welford, adding "we believe the pipeline offers intriguing optionality."

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