Sanofi

Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher

5. Sanofi
2013 revenue: €32.951 billion ($45.078 billion)
2012 revenue: €34.947 billion ($47.769 billion)

Although Sanofi's ($SNY) rank as the fifth largest pharma company by revenue remained unchanged for 2013, there is no getting around the fact it was a miserable year for the French drugmaker. Revenue fell 5.7% for the year as it fought the sales drag of generic competition to megablockbuster Plavix. The blood thinner it shared with Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) went off patent in 2012.

In addition, a sales and logistics snafu in Brazil trampled on results from the emerging market, and plant problems in Canada delayed crucial fall deliveries of vaccines. Sanofi also has an animal health operation, but its sales were off nearly 9% for the year, and a consumer health operation that was flat.

On the bright side, sales of its superstar diabetes treatment Lantus grew by 20% for the year, hitting €5.72 billion ($7.75 billion). It is the best-selling diabetes drug in the world, at least for now, but it is slated to lose patent protection in 2015. It also caught a major break last year when the FDA turned down approval for Tresiba from Novo Nordisk ($NVO), a drug that was predicted to give Lantus a run for its money.

The drugmaker did see the page turn on its tale of woe in its fourth quarter, and CEO Christopher Viehbacher was able to point out something in particular for shareholders to rejoice about in 2014: No key products are going off patent.

-- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)

For more:
Sanofi under pressure to divulge plans for its cash stash
After tougher-than-expected 2013, Sanofi anticipates patent-cliff freedom
Sanofi's MS pill Aubagio wins final thumbs-up from U.K. cost-effectiveness watchdogs
FDA says nada to Lemtrada; will Sanofi be willing to invest in additional trials?

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