PARIS, May 2 (Reuters) - Sanofi reported lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Thursday as the effects of last year’s patent losses damped growth from diabetes drugs, vaccines and rare disease unit Genzyme.
The French drugmaker said it expected to return to growth in the second half of 2013 and confirmed that earnings this year would be flat to 5 percent lower than in 2012 at constant exchange rates.
Sanofi’s closely watched business net income, which excludes items such as amortisation and legal costs, dropped 33 percent to 1.61 billion euros ($2.1 billion) on sales of 8.06 billion, down 5.3 percent.
Sales were hit by generic competition, austerity measures in Europe and the depreciation of several currencies, including the dollar and the Japanese yen, against the euro.
Sanofi had been expected to post quarterly business net income of 1.75 billion on sales of 8.3 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
$1 = 0.7580 euros Reporting by Elena Berton; Editing by Leila Abboud