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Sanofi-aventis Delivers 2008 Results Above Guidance
Date:2/11/2009

the appendices 5 and 6)

Operating cash flow before changes in working capital totaled EUR 8,524 million in 2008, against EUR 7,917 million in 2007.

The Group held working capital needs steady year on year.

Investing activities generated a net cash outflow of EUR 2,154 million. Acquisitions of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets amounted to EUR 1,606 million, mainly comprising investment in industrial and research facilities (EUR 1,389 million) and contractual payments related to intangible rights (EUR 217 million), the main item being the payment made under the agreement with Astellas on Myslee(R) signed in 2007. Acquisitions (EUR 667 million) mainly comprised the purchase of shares in Acambis plc and Symbion Consumer. Proceeds from disposals net of taxes amounted to EUR 123 million, mainly from the sale of the investment in Millennium.

After the dividend payout of EUR 2,708 million and the purchase of 23.8 million treasury shares for EUR 1,227 million (primarily at the end of the share repurchase program authorized by the Shareholders' General Meeting of May 2007), net cash generated during 2008 was EUR 2,450 million, enabling the Group to reduce net debt from EUR 4,230 million at December 31, 2007 to EUR 1,780 million at December 31, 2008. Gearing stood at 3.9% at December 31, 2008, compared with 9.5% at December 31, 2007.

Research and Development

A full review of our Research and Development portfolio has been initiated in order to reassess the allocation of resources and distribute them to the projects with the highest potential in the currently prevailing healthcare environment. Based on an initial evaluation, a number of projects have been discontinued either on the basis of an unsatisfactory benefit/risk ratio or inadequate additional clinical benefit, or because of the expected sub-optimal return on investment. Thi
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