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. 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.