25 April 2013 11:44 [Source: ICIS news]
(adds further financial detail, CEO comment)
LONDON (ICIS)--Bayer’s HealthCare and CropScience businesses helped lift the Germany-based chemical major’s first-quarter net profit by 11.5% year on year to €1.16bn ($1.51bn), the firm said on Thursday.
Group sales climbed by 2.1% year on year in the first quarter to €10.3bn, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), or operating profit, rose to €1.77bn – up by 8.6% from the same period last year.
Core earnings per share during the quarter rose by 1.8% year on year to €1.70, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the quarter increased by 1.6% to €2.42bn, Bayer said.
“HealthCare and CropScience got off to a good start in our anniversary year. Our new pharmaceutical products especially grew at a dynamic pace,” said management board chairman Marijn Dekkers. By contrast, MaterialScience faced cost pressure.
Sales of the HealthCare subgroup increased by 2.3% in the first quarter of 2013 to €4.44bn, while EBIT rose by 24% year on year to €922m.
“This positive development was primarily driven by our new pharmaceutical products,” said Dekkers. The business with non-prescription medicines (Consumer Care) also experienced a strong quarter.
Sales in the emerging markets, particularly those of Asia and eastern Europe, maintained momentum, posting double-digit growth rates.
CropScience’s sales in the first quarter increased by 5.9% to €2.76bn compared with the same period of 2012, while EBIT increased by 13% to €964m.
“Growth of CropScience was particularly strong in North America, but the other regions also showed positive development,” said Dekkers. “Our business continued to be supported by the persistently high price levels for agricultural commodities.”
However, Bayer's MaterialScience business was hampered by raw material costs. The subgroup posted sales of €2.78bn in the first quarter of 2013, slightly down on the prior-year period, while EBIT fell steeply by 65% to €42m.
“An overall increase in selling prices for our high-tech materials compensated for a drop in volumes in Europe and North America,” Dekkers said.
Looking ahead, Bayer reiterated its outlook. For the whole of 2013, the company is targeting group sales of about €41bn, an increase of 4-5% from 2012.
($1 = €0.77)
Additional reporting by Pearl Bantillo
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