Sanofi has returned to growth in the fourth quarter driven by its diabetes franchise, Genzyme unit and a strong performance in the emerging markets.

The French drugmaker says that sales slipped 0.8% to 8.46 billion euros, hit by currency effects, while business net income leapt 16.8% to 1.81 billion euros. The diabetes division, dominated by Lantus (insulin glargine) rose 19% to 1.74 billion euros, while Genzyme brought in 595 million euros, boosted by sales of the new multiple sclerosis pill Aubagio (teriflunomide).

Speaking at Sanofi's annual press conference in Paris, chief executive Chris Viehbacher told PharmaTimes that Aubagio, which had Q4 sales of 69 million euros, has benefitted from  the stellar launch of Biogen Idec's MS pill Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate).

Emerging markets contributed 2.92 billion euros, up 10.4% and when asked about acquisitions, Mr Viehbcher said the firm is looking at opportunities in non-BRIC countries, mentioning Vietnam and Colombia.

There will be much more from the Paris meeting in the PharmaTime e-news in the next few days.