Sanofi raises 2020 outlook as vaccines lift sales

Sanofi raises 2020 outlook as speciality care and vaccines lift sales

The logo of Sanofi is seen at the company's research and production centre in Vitry-sur-Seine, France. Credit: Reuters Photo

Sanofi raised its 2020 outlook 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 its expected earnings per share in 2020 to increase by seven to eight per cent up from six to seven per cent.

Revenue in Sanofi's vaccine arm was up 13.6 per cent at constant exchange rates to 2 billion euros ($2.36 billion) in the third quarter, which it said was due to record flu sales.

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

Sanofi had said earlier this year it would increase influenza vaccines production by 20 per cent to meet a surge in demand even though shortages are already being felt in several European regions.

The company also confirmed it was on track with its two vaccines projects to prevent 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 of people.

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Sanofi's net income in the third quarter was up 9.4 per cent at 2.3 billion euros ($2.72 billion) while revenue rose 5.7 per cent to 9.48 billion.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected an 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 immunotherapy potential treatments with US firm Merck's Keytruda in patients with various cancers.