Sanofi refines expectations on drop in sales at diabetes arm

PARIS, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Sanofi confirmed its 2017 outlook after it posted slightly lower-than-expected third-quarter results, and gave a more precise range on expectations of a sales decline at its embattled diabetes business.

The French drugmaker said currency-adjusted sales at its diabetes franchise would likely shrink by 6-8 percent per year between 2015 and 2018.

It had previously seen a 4-8 percent drop due to persistent pricing pressure in the United States, but added it had now better visibility on the sales expectations of this unit.

Sanofi's third-quarter business net income fell 1.1 percent at constant exchange rates to 2.141 billion euros ($2.5 billion). Total sales rose 4.7 percent to 9.05 billion euros.

Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting business net profit of 2.148 billion euros and net sales of 9.33 billion.

($1 = 0.8581 euros) (Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)