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Drugmaker Sanofi sees profit fall in Q1 amid leadership change, drop in Lantus sales

PARIS – Drugmaker Sanofi has reported a slight drop in income in the first quarter amid a leadership transition and lower sales of its Lantus diabetes drug.

The Paris-based company said Thursday its net income was 1.05 billion euros ($1.2 billion), down from 1.12 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Sales were 8.8 billion euros, up 12 per cent from last year.

A drop in U.S. sales of Lantus was offset by higher sales in Europe and emerging markets, the company said.

Sanofi expects slight growth this year under new CEO Olivier Brandicourt. His predecessor, Christopher Viehbacher, was sacked in October over his handling of the business, including the loss of U.S. market share for Lantus and his communications with the board.

Sanofi shares were down slightly Thursday morning, to 90.49 euros.