05 June 1996 00:00 [Source: ICB]
A strong start to 1996 was enjoyed by Bayer, assisted by a rise in turnover among foreign subsidiaries and the acquisition of Monsanto's ABS business among others.
The Bayer group made a good start in 1996, increasing pre-tax earnings by nearly 14% against the same period in 1995 to DM1.16bn ($759m). Overall sales rose by 4% to DM12.2bn, thanks especially to a 6% rise in turnover of foreign subsidiaries to DM7.8bn. German group companies lifted sales 1.2% to DM4.4bn.
Bayer attributes almost all of the Q1 sales progress to the inclusion of Monsanto's ABS business, the printing plates activities acquired from Hoechst and last year's acquisition of the Florasynth group (ECN 20 March 1995).
|BAYER GROUP 1996 Q1 SALES BY
BUSINESS AREA (DMM)
Selling prices remained unsatisfactory, while volume sales were down by 1%. North American group companies increased their sales by 16%, compared with 1% growth in Europe. Turnover in the Asia-Africa-Australia region fell 3%, due to the weakness of the yen.
Strong gains in plastics pushed polymer division sales ahead 10% to DM2.4bn, as organics picked up 8% to DM1.6bn. Sales of industrial products dropped back 3% to DM2bn, despite strong performances from polyurethanes and HC Starck, because of problems in the inorganics business group.
All segments of the healthcare division contributed to the 3% upturn to DM2bn, Bayer said. The agriculture division repeated its strong Q1 1995 performance, lifting turnover 1% to DM1.5bn, while the 7% upturn at Agfa is attributed to the printing plates acquisition.
Despite increasing economic uncertainty in major European countries - especially Germany - and declining demand in the chemical business segments, the Leverkusen group said in its letter to shareholders that it does not expect the recent downturn to last.
The positive trend in North America is thought likely to continue, while business in the Far East continues to expand and exchange rates remain steady. Bayer says it is 'confident of achieving the 10% growth in pretax income it has planned for 1996'.
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