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Sanofi raises outlook as speciality care and vaccines lift sales

Matthias Blamont
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Sanofi is pictured during the company's shareholders meeting in Paris
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Sanofi is pictured during the company's shareholders meeting in Paris

By Matthias Blamont

PARIS (Reuters) - Sanofi <SASY.PA> raised its 2020 earnings guidance for the second time this year after posting slightly stronger-than-expected third-quarter results on Thursday, helped by growth at its speciality care and vaccines units.

The French drugmaker said it now expected earnings per share to increase 7-8% this year, up from 6-7% previously.

Revenue in Sanofi's vaccine arm was up 13.6% at constant exchange rates to 2 billion euros (1.8 billion pounds) in the third quarter, which it said was due to record flu vaccine sales.

Governments across the world have been calling for increased influenza vaccination, especially among at-risk populations, to avoid additional pressure on healthcare and hospital systems already strained by the coronavirus crisis.

Sanofi said earlier this year it would increase flu vaccines production by 20% to meet a surge in demand, but shortages are still being experienced in several European regions.

The company also confirmed it was on track with its two vaccines projects to tackle COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus which has killed more than 1.16 million, caused chaos in the world economy and disrupted the life of billions.

Interim phase I/II results of a protein-based vaccine candidate in collaboration with Britain's GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L> are expected by the end of November or early December.

If successful, late-stage trials are expected to start soon after.

The two companies struck a deal earlier this week to supply 200 million doses of the vaccine to a global inoculation scheme backed by the World Health Organization.

Sanofi's quarterly earnings were also boosted by its star eczema and asthma treatment Dupixent, whose sales leapt 69%.

Net income in the third quarter was up 9.4% at 2.3 billion euros, while revenue rose 5.7% to 9.48 billion.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected on average net income of 2.27 billion euros and sales of 9.75 billion.

In a separate announcement, Sanofi said it would sponsor a clinical trial to assess the efficacy of one of its potential immunotherapy treatments with U.S. group Merck's <MRK.N> Keytruda in patients with various cancers.

(Reporting by Matthias Blamont, Editing by Sarah White and Mark Potter)