Sanofi-Aventis posted a slightly lower than expected rise in fourth quarter sales – up 8% to 6.6 billion euros versus the same period last year [[22/01/04b]], but figures were boosted by growing pharmaceutical sales and increasing revenues from its anti-cancer and blood-thinning products.

During the quarter, pharmaceutical sales rose 8% to 6.2 billion euros, including a 63% hike in revenues from anticancer agent, Eloxatin (oxaliplatin), to 347 million euros, driven by a particularly strong showing in the USA where the product’s revenues surged 83% to 212 million euros. The super-aspirin Plavix (clopidogrel ) was up 24% to 443 million euros, and the thrombosis drug, Lovenox (enoxaparin), climbed 19% to 512 million euros. In addition, the anti-cancer agent, Taxotere (docetaxel), rose almost 9% to 358 million euros, on the back of a 27% hike in European sales to 126 million euros. However, the anti-allergy drug, Allegra (fexofenadine), dipped 5% to 373 million euros, as competition from over-the-counter remedies continued to take its toll, and the cardiovascular drug, Tritace (ramipril), slipped 17% to 264 million euros, as generic competition took a firm hold. The human vaccines business climbed 11% during the three months to 408 million euros

On an annual basis – the first full-year results since the company’s acquisiton of Aventis [[12/08/04a]] – sales surged to 15 billion euros, almost double the 8 billion recorded in 2003.