French animal health company Merial, headquartered in Lyon, France, recorded sales of €578 million, down 5.4%, impacted by a tough comparable first quarter 2011.
Sales of the animal health company in emerging markets grew 6.0% to €124 million.
Sales of the production animals segment were €180 million, down 3.7%, reflecting decreased sales of the veterinary public health segment (down 50.8%) which benefited from one-off sales of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) and bluetongue virus vaccines in the first quarter of 2011.
Excluding sales of FMD and bluetongue virus vaccines, sales of the production animals segment were up 5.4%. The ruminant segment continued to deliver strong growth (up 9.8%) driven by the recent launch in the US of the antibiotic Zactran against bovine respiratory disease. The avian segment grew by 5.4%, led by the vaccine Vaxxitek.
Sales of the companion animals segment reached €398 million, down 6.1%.
In March, Merial acquired Newport Laboratories, a US privately held company, which is a leader in autogenous vaccines with a focus on swine and bovine production markets. This acquisition will enable Merial to expand its production animal business in the US and optimise the company’s product technology with Newport's demand realisation expertise, thus providing a unique opportunity to meet the needs of US swine producers.
Merial is part of the Sanofi group, which reached an €8.5 billion sales in the first quarter of 2012. This is a 7.0% year-on-year increase.