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Genzyme and vaccines push up Sanofi's Q1 results

PARIS, April 26 (Reuters) - Sanofi upheld a long-awaited return to growth on Friday with higher profits and revenues for the first quarter, once again led by a stellar 31 percent sales increase at its rare diseases Genzyme unit.

The French drugmaker, which also posted a strong sales increase at its vaccines division confirmed its full-year outlook.

Net income rose 9 percent to 1.77 billion euros ($1.95 billion) at constant exchange rates in the first quarter on sales of 8.4 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters with Infront Data had forecast average net income of 1.67 billion euros and sales of 8.36 billion.

($1 = 0.8981 euros) (Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)