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Drugmaker Sanofi raises outlook after strong Q2 sales growth

PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi raised its 2017 outlook on the back of strong growth at its consumer healthcare, vaccines and genzyme arms in the second quarter, and said it was encouraged by the uptake of a key eczema drug in the United States.

Sanofi said it was now expecting "broadly stable" earnings per share (EPS) this year compared to a previous forecast of stable to slightly lower EPS.

The company said second-quarter net income was down 0.5 percent at constant exchange rates to 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion). Total sales rose 5.5 percent to 8.66 billion euros.

While nearly all of Sanofi's units recorded double-digit revenue growth in the quarter, sales at the group's embattled diabetes division were down 15 percent due to persistent pricing pressure in the United States.

Analysts polled by Reuters in partnership with Inquiry Financial had on average been expecting business net profit of 1.7 billion euros and net sales of 8.7 billion.

($1 = 0.8523 euros) (Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)