July 29, 2016 / 5:31 AM / a year ago

Sanofi sales and profit slide on U.S. pricing, Venezuela

PARIS, July 29 (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi’s sales and profit fell in the second quarter despite double-digit growth at biotech arm Genzyme, as the diabetes division continued to come under sustained U.S. pricing pressure.

Business net income fell 3.3 percent to 1.68 billion euros ($1.86 billion) at constant exchange rates, with revenue down 0.2 percent at 8.87 billion, the French drugmaker said on Friday. Sales fell 4.3 percent on a reported basis.

Sanofi is under pressure to diversify geographically and expand in areas such as oncology as it faces declining sales of its diabetes blockbuster Lantus.

The company maintained its guidance for stable 2016 profit but predicted a negative 4 percent currency impact on its full-year earnings per share.

Exchange rate swings had a negative effect of 4.1 percent on quarterly sales, Sanofi said, compounded by persistent difficulties in Venezuela.

But Biotech arm Genzyme reported a 20.1 percent sales increase at constant rates, while the vaccines and animal health divisions also posted stronger revenue.

Sales at the diabetes division, however, were down 3.5 percent, reflecting lower sales of Lantus in the United States.

The results were broadly in line with analysts’ expectations of 8.89 billion euros in sales and 1.68 billion in business net income, based on the mean of 10 estimates in a Reuters poll.

1 = 0.9019 euros Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Laurence Frost

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