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Mar 27, 2015

French consumers more confident, PM upbeat on growth

PARIS (Reuters) – France will achieve solid growth faster than expected, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday, as data showed households more optimistic than they have been in four and a half years.

Speaking two days ahead of local elections where his unpopular Socialist party expects a severe defeat, Valls said improving economic data meant growth could be strong enough to bring unemployment down this year.

Mar 23, 2015

Sika says wins court ruling in St-Gobain bid battle, shares up

PARIS, March 23 (Reuters) – Shares in Sika leapt on
Monday after the Swiss chemicals firm said it had won a key
court ruling in its battle to fend off a back-door takeover by

The French building materials group said the ruling by the
Court of Zug did not change the fundamentals of the case, but
the family it is buying a disputed stake from acknowledged that
the decision effectively strips away its voting rights at a
forthcoming shareholders’ meeting on April 14.

Mar 22, 2015

Sarkozy denies far-right Le Pen victory in French polls

PARIS (Reuters) – Former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party and their allies led in the first round of French local elections, exit polls showed on Sunday, denying Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front (FN) first place.

If confirmed, the result would be a setback for Le Pen, who had hoped her anti-immigrant, anti-euro party would emerge top in the first round, boosting her ambitions to win presidential elections set for 2017.

Mar 5, 2015

Numericable-SFR says confident on cost savings target

PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) – Numericable-SFR is
confident it can deliver the 1 billion euros of cost savings
promised by cable operator Numericable by 2017 from its takeover
of No.2 French mobile telecoms group SFR, finance head Thierry
Lemaitre said on Thursday.

Lemaitre also told reporters on a conference call that the
new company made a net loss for 2014 of 175 million euros ($193
million) against a profit of 65 million a year earlier due to
interest costs for the debt it raised for the takeover and
including a one-month contribution from SFR.

Feb 20, 2015

Sanofi’s new boss could earn more than Total’s, less than Pfizer’s

PARIS, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Sanofi’s new boss
Olivier Brandicourt could earn up to 4.2 million euros ($4.8
million) a year at the drugs group and pocket an extra 4
million euros within 12 months as a one-off golden handshake.

The pay of the former medical doctor, due to take up his new
role from April, was revealed in a statement from the company on
Friday, a day after the 59-year-old Bayer executive
was named as replacement for Chris Viehbacher, who was sacked in

Feb 19, 2015

Sanofi names CEO, cites ‘capabililty to unite teams’

PARIS, Feb 19 (Reuters) – French drugmaker Sanofi
on Thursday named Olivier Brandicourt, a Paris-educated doctor
and head of Bayer AG’s healthcare arm, as its chief
executive officer.

Brandicourt had been widely tipped to become Sanofi’s new
boss, a position that opened when Chris Viehbacher was suddenly
sacked last year.

Feb 19, 2015

Sanofi challenges will test likely new boss’s pedigree

PARIS, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Olivier Brandicourt, the
Paris-educated doctor and head of Bayer AG’s
healthcare arm who is widely tipped as the new boss of Sanofi
, comes with the right scientific and cultural pedigree
but faces some daunting corporate challenges.

The 59-year-old Frenchman who researched tropical and
infectious diseases before joining the corporate drugs world has
been seen as a likely candidate to head the French drugs firm
ever since the board suddenly sacked Chris Viehbacher last year.

Feb 12, 2015

Russia, mature Europe to drag on Legrand sales in 2015

PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Power switch and socket maker
Legrand warned that challenging prospects in Russia
and difficult conditions in mature European markets would drag
on revenue growth in 2015 as it delivered yearly earnings that
undershot expectations.

Shares in the French company, which had risen earlier this
month to a record 49.02 euros, were down 3 percent at 45.685
euros in early trade, compared with a 0.2 percent drop in the
French blue-chip CAC 40 index.

Feb 5, 2015

Sanofi to name new CEO in coming weeks as euro lifts results

PARIS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – French drugs firm Sanofi
said on Thursday it would be in a position to name a new chief
executive in the coming weeks as it delivered 1.5 percent
quarterly earnings per share growth thanks to the weak euro.

“The announcement will be before the end of the first
quarter,” said Chairman Serge Weinberg, who has been acting CEO
since Chris Viehbacher was fired at the end of October for poor
execution of strategy and lack of communication with the board.

Jan 30, 2015

Three months on, fruitless CEO search overshadows Sanofi

PARIS, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Barring a last-minute
breakthrough, drugs firm Sanofi’s Chairman Serge
Weinberg may have to acknowledge in his results presentation
next week that the hunt for a new chief executive is not going

At least three potential candidates in a narrow field have
turned their back on the job heading France’s largest company.

    • About Andrew

      "Andy leads the London-based team that edits company news copy from around Europe, the Middle East and Africa and supports EMEA Companies Editor of Charge Chris Wickham. Andy is a newswire "lifer" with experience in reporting and editing in London, Singapore and Paris. A one-time oil industry specialist, his first industry job in the early 1980s was collecting pepper and banana prices for Agence France Presse."
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