(Bloomberg) -- Sanofi posted first-quarter revenue that exceeded estimates as strong demand for its new hemophilia medicine helped make up for some unfavorable currency movements. 

Sales reached €10.5 billion ($11.2 billion) in the quarter, the French drugmaker said in a statement, ahead of the €10.3 billion average of analyst estimates. The hemophilia drug Altuviiio helped drive the performance, with surprisingly strong demand in the US since its launch in March 2023.

Chief Executive Officer Paul Hudson has braced investors for a couple of years of slower growth as Sanofi ratchets up its drug-development program. The company is following the strategy of rivals including Novartis AG in focusing on cutting-edge therapies, while divesting older medicines and its consumer health division. The idea is to sacrifice earnings now for faster growth later this decade.

Currency movements, particularly Argentina’s peso, weighed on earnings in the quarter, with a negative effect of 4.3 percentage points, Sanofi said.

Nonetheless, the company reaffirmed its financial guidance for the year and recorded first-quarter profit of €1.78 per share, slightly higher than estimates. Shares rose less than 1% in Paris trading.

Altuviiio sales reached €122 million in the first quarter, compared to the €104 million analyst estimate. The new RSV therapy Beyfortus was in line with expectations with sales of €182 million in the first quarter, helped in part by deliveries to Chile and Australia as the southern hemisphere approaches winter. Sanofi doesn’t expect to book any sales for it in the current quarter.

Sales of the blockbuster asthma medicine Dupixent was in line with estimates. Sanofi is on track to record €13 billion in revenue from it this year, with about 850,000 patients around the world taking the drug, Hudson said on a call with reporters.

Hudson has struggled to convince investors of his new strategy. In October, Sanofi shares plummeted on his surprise announcement of the higher spending, which required the drugmaker to abandon some profit targets. The rout wiped out about $25 billion in market value in a day. Sanofi has since laid out ambitious plans to bolster its pipeline of new medicines, with shares starting to recover. 

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