28 February 2012 10:59 [Source: ICIS news]
By Franco Capaldo
LEVERKUSEN, Germany (ICIS)--Bayer is confident about its development and forecasts sales growth of about 3% in 2012 after a strong start to the year, the German chemical producer's CEO Marijn Dekkers said on Tuesday.
Based on the group’s currency assumption of $1.40 to the euro, Bayer expects group sales in 2012 come in around €37bn ($49bn), he said.
Dekkers added that the company is planning to slightly improve the group’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) before special items and core earnings per share in 2012 from last year.
Bayer earlier on Tuesday reported 2011 sales of €36.5bn, up 4.1% year on year, while the group’s total EBITDA grew by 10.1% year on year to €6.92bn.
The CEO said growth will be driven by Bayer’s Healthcare and CropScience segments, with earnings at Bayer MaterialScience likely to be flat with 2011 in view of the current difficult market conditions.
“On the one hand we have the high-margin, highly research-intensive life science businesses, Bayer HealthCare and Bayer CropScience. And on the other hand, the asset-driven, cyclical MaterialScience business,” Dekkers said.
“In 2012, HealthCare plans to increase sales by a low- to mid-single-digit percentage on an adjusted basis and slightly improve EBITDA before special items … In CropScience, we aim to achieve above-market growth in currency and portfolio-adjusted sales in 2012 – we anticipate that adjusted sales and EBITDA before special items will advance by mid-single-digit percentages,” he added.
“In our MaterialScience business, we expect adjusted sales and EBITDA before special items to remain level with 2011. Should the market environment develop more favourably than anticipated, we expect sales and earnings to increase accordingly,” Dekkers said.
“After slow growth in pharmaceuticals in 2011 and probably also in 2012, we expect our new pharmaceutical products to make tangible contribution to this expansion starting in 2013,” he added.
Dekkers also said the company will invest a significant amount in its future.
“We expect research and development spending to continue [in 2012] on the high level of recent years at about €3bn. We have planned capital expenditures of €3.1bn for property, plant and equipment,” he said.
Looking at possible acquisitions, Dekkers said the company will continue to follow its strategy of keeping its options open if the right opportunity came along.
($1 = €0.75)
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