Sanofi earns slump in Q3 as competition heats up

PARIS -- Sanofi says earnings slumped in the third quarter as generic competitors ate into profits of its Eloxatin cancer treatment.

The French drug maker reported net profit of (EURO)1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) for the July-September quarter, down 20 percent from (EURO)2 billion a year earlier.

Sanofi said it lost (EURO)448 million in sales from generic competition in the quarter. It blamed Eloxatin's loss of protection in the U.S. for most of the decline.

The company now expects its core earnings, what it calls "Business EPS," to fall 12 percent this year compared to 2011, at constant exchange rates. In the third quarter, Business EPS slumped 14.5 percent.

Overall sales rose 3.3 percent to (EURO)9 billion in the quarter, thanks in part to growth of Sanofi's Lantus diabetes treatment in the U.S.