Under-pressure Sanofi seeks more cost cuts

In the face of pressure to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine, French drugmaker Sanofi has pledged more cost cuts to increase margins.

The drugmaker said on Friday (February 5) earnings per share would grow further this year.

That was after it posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter results.

But Sanofi and Britain's GlaxoSmithKline stunned investors in December last year, when they warned a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine they are developing showed an insufficient immune response in older people.

That delayed its launch towards the end of 2021.

To appease critics, Sanofi said last month it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot from July.

It is also working on another possible COVID-19 vaccine with U.S. group Translate Bio.

The company is cutting just under 1,700 jobs in Europe.

On Thursday (February 4) there were demonstrations outside the its headquarters against the cuts.

On Friday Sanofi was hosting a virtual investor day that was due to focus on upcoming drugs.

The company's fourth-quarter earnings per share rose 9.8%.

Total sales rose 4.2% to about 11.3 billion dollars after strong revenue for its eczema drug and influenza vaccines.

Sanofi shares rose around 2% following Friday's numbers.