French drugmaker sanofi-aventis has booked a 12.8% increase (at constant exchange rates) in net income (excluding certain items) to 8.4 billion euros for 2009, with fourth-quarter earnings up nearly 20% at 1.8 billion euros.

The Paris, France-headquartered group saw its earnings per share leap 18.2% to 6.49 euros per share for the year, as net sales climbed 5.3% to 29.3 billion euros, with turnover from its Human Vaccines division – which includes a swine flu jab – jumping nearly 20% to 3.5 billion euros.

Looking forward, Sanofi said it expects EPS growth (at CER) to be between 2% and 5% in 2010 barring major unforeseen events, despite expected generic competition, in particular to its antithrombotic Lovenox (enoxaparin).

A full analysis of results will be provided by our reporter on location in Paris in tomorrow’s PharmaTimes World News.