Picture: BLOOMBERG/CHRIS RATCLIFFE
Picture: BLOOMBERG/CHRIS RATCLIFFE

Paris  —  Sanofi raised its 2021 profit forecast on Thursday after its vaccines and star eczema treatment helped it beat second-quarter results expectations.

The French drugmaker said it was now targeting earnings per share growth of about 12% at constant exchange rates in 2021, up from “high single digit” percentage growth previously.

Sanofi, which shocked investors in 2020 with a delay to a Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline , reiterated its confidence in the shot, which it hopes will secure regulatory approval by the end of the year.

Europe’s drug regulator said last week it had started a real-time review of the vaccine.

If approved, Sanofi’s shot will come long after ones from Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna, which have produced efficacy results of more than 90%.

But the French company believes its vaccine could play a significant role in tackling the pandemic, as many parts of the world still have a pressing need for doses.

In countries already rolling out mass vaccinations, Sanofi also sees a potential role for the shot as a booster, as many regulators contemplate recommending a third dose to extend protection.

So far, Sanofi has purchasing agreements with the US, the EU, Britain and Canada, as well as with the World Health Organization-backed Covax facility.

The company has also pledged to help other Covid-19 vaccine makers in 2021, striking “fill and finish” deals for shots made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Sales of Dupixent, which is sold to patients with eczema but also prescribed for other conditions such as asthma, jumped 57% to €1.24bn.

Revenue at the vaccines unit was up 16.2% to €1bn, helped by stronger demand for booster and meningitis shots.

Overall, Sanofi’s sales rose 12.4% in the second quarter to €8.74bn, while business net income — a figure the company uses as its core metric to measure profits — was up 16.8% to €1.73bn.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv had on average been expecting sales of €8.5bn  and net income of €1bn.

Reuters 

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