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Sanofi-aventis Announces Good First-quarter 2009 Performance
Date:4/29/2009

ral expenses were 2.9% lower (5.6% at constant exchange rates), at euro 1,732 million. The ratio of selling and general expenses to net sales was 24.4%, versus 25.7% for the first quarter of 2008, due to the ongoing measures taken by sanofi-aventis to adapt to market conditions and the end of the commercialization of Copaxone(R) in North America.

Other current operating income and expenses showed net income of euro 148 million, against net income of euro 104 million in the first quarter of 2008. The 2009 figure includes the payment by Teva of a fee equal to 25% of the North American sales of Copaxone(R).

Operating income - current(1) was up 14.9% at euro 2,898 million. At constant exchange rate, the growth rate was 8.6%. The ratio of operating income - current to net sales improved by 4.4 points to 40.8%.

Net financial expenses were euro 44 million, against euro 17 million for the first quarter of 2008 (which included a gain on currency hedging). Interest expense on debt was euro 26 million, lower than the 2008 first-quarter figure of euro 44 million. Sanofi-aventis acquired Zentiva shares related to the public offer on March 11, 2009 for euro 1,197 million.

The effective tax rate was down 0.6 of a point at 29%, and was in line with the 2008 full-year figure.

The share of profits from associates was up 16.7% at euro 273 million. The share of after-tax profits from territories managed by BMS under the Plavix(R) and Avapro(R) alliance was 28.1% higher at euro 187 million, due to a good performance from Plavix(R) in the United States and a favorable dollar effect.

Minority interests increased by 5.2% to euro 121 million. The share of pre-tax profits paid to BMS from territories managed by sanofi-aventis rose by 3.6% to euro 115 million.

Adjusted net income excluding selected items(1) was euro
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SOURCE Sanofi-aventis
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