Pharmaceutical firm warns that loss of two U.S. patents will hurt full-year profit.
French pharmaceutical group Sanofi (IW 1000/92) posted Friday a 50% jump in its first-quarter profit but warned its earnings could lose up to 15% this year as some generic drugs hit the market.
Sanofi reported a net profit of 1.83 billion euros (US$2.4 billion), and a business net profit that gained 12.5% from the same period a year earlier to 2.44 billion euros.
The latter measure excludes effects like the impact of acquisitions and divestments and is used by Sanofi as a benchmark for its results.
Sanofi sales were 9.4% stronger at 8.51 billion euros, the company said.
They were boosted by sales in the United States and emerging markets, which account for about a third of all revenue.
Sanofi's results also included for the first time a contribution from Genzyme, a biotechnology company that Sanofi bought last year.
"We are in very good shape," chief executive Christopher Viehbacher was quoted as saying.
The group said that first-quarter results were in line with its outlook for the year as a whole, but reiterated a forecast that its 2012 business net profit would likely fall by 12% to 15% owing to the loss of U.S. patents on two drugs.
They are the blood thinner Plavix and Avapro, which is used to treat high blood pressure.
Several large pharmaceutical groups are starting to face stiff competition from generic drugs.
Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story -
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012