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Sanofi Needs Switch Skills To Span Gap Between Rx And OTC Divisions

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Sanofi-Aventis will need to build an infrastructure geared to Rx-to-OTC switch in order to make a successful U.S. consumer business out of its planned acquisition of Chattem and become established as a switch player

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Sales & Earnings In Brief

Sanofi's consumer sales soar: Sanofi-Aventis' rapidly expanding consumer business grew 27 percent in 2009 to 1.43 billion euros ($1.96 billion). Sanofi plans to double Chattem's sales of $1.4 billion in part by switching the prescription allergy drug Allegra in early 2011, CEO Christopher Viehbacher said during a Feb. 10 earnings call (1"The Tan Sheet" Jan. 4, 2010). Sanofi completed its $19 billion acquisition of Chattem Feb. 9 (2"The Tan Sheet" Feb. 1, 2010). Overall, the firm's fiscal 2009 sales grew 5.3 percent at constant exchange to 29.3 billion euros ($40.26 billion). The firm continues to focus on its long-term, sustainable growth strategy of expanding its consumer health business, but Viehbacher notes the Paris firm has not forgotten its short-term strategy. "Sometimes you hear people talk about the long term because the short term is not so good," but Sanofi's 13.1 percent increase in earnings per share in fiscal 2009 to 6.49 euros ($8.91 based on Feb. 10 exchange rates) denotes a "very strong performance," he said

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