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Sanofi earning slump in 4th quarter

PARIS — The French drug maker Sanofi said its net profit was more than halved in the fourth quarter from a year earlier as mounting restructuring costs and patent losses on key drugs hammered earnings.

Sanofi, the parent of Genzyme Corp., said net profit was $593 million in the October-December quarter. Sales were flat at $11.39 billion. Restructuring costs rose over $133.8 million to $1.1 billion.

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The company blamed the loss of US patent protection on two key drugs, Plavix and Avapro, and warned its core earnings per share could fall as much as 5 percent this year. They fell 12.8 percent in 2012.

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