Sanofi-Aventis reports strong earnings and raises forecast

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) reported that its second- quarter profit surged 29.4 percent, helped by favorable exchange rates. Still, even on a constant exchange rate, profit rose 17.2 percent, exceeding analyst estimates, while net sales increased by 11.2 percent. Sanofi also raised its 2009 earnings per share growth guidance from seven to 10 percent, saying growth this year will be helped by the diabetes drug Lantus and acquisitions to replenish its drug pipeline.

CEO Christopher A. Viehbacher said: "The group delivered very strong results in the second quarter, driven by solid growth of key pharmaceutical brands and vaccines, strong sales in Emerging Markets and recent acquisitions." Since his appointment in December, the French drugmaker's top man has taken steps to reorganize in the current environment and prepare for the upcoming generic competition. He has closed a number of partnerships, acquired some generics and and overhauled Sanofi's research and development.