Gross cash flow in the first quarter of 2014 rose by 13.3 percent to EUR 2,048 million (Q1 2013: EUR 1,807 million) due to the improvement in EBITDA. Net cash flow, however, declined to EUR 163 million (Q1 2013: EUR 327 million) because more cash was tied up in working capital. Net financial debt rose from EUR 6.7 billion on December 31, 2013, to EUR 9.1 billion on March 31, 2014. This increase was driven by the acquisition of Algeta ASA, Norway.
HealthCare: recently launched pharmaceutical products post sales of some EUR 600 million
Sales of the HealthCare subgroup rose by 2.9 percent (Fx & portfolio adj. 8.9 percent) in the first quarter to EUR 4,572 million (Q1 2013: EUR 4,443 million). "This growth was driven by the pharmaceutical products we have launched recently," said Dekkers. Sales showed above-average development in the Emerging Markets.
The Pharmaceuticals business recorded strong growth compared to a weaker prior-year quarter, with sales rising by 14.9 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.) to EUR 2,782 million. This excellent performance was driven by the recently launched medicines Xarelto™, Eylea™, Stivarga™, Xofigo™ and Adempas™, which registered combined sales of EUR 598 million (Q1 2013: EUR 244 million) led by the anticoagulant Xarelto™, which is Bayer's best-selling pharmaceutical product. The eye medicine Eylea™ posted strong gains, and business with the cancer drugs Stivarga™ and Xofigo™ developed well. The pulmonary hypertension treatment Adempas™, launched in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2013, also contributed to the growth in sales.
Among the established best-selling products, the cancer drug Nexavar™ recorded sales gains in all regions, with currency-adjusted (Fx adj.) growth of 13.6 percent. Sales of Aspirin™ Cardio for preventing heart attacks rose by 19.2 percent (Fx adj.), largely thanks to increased demand in China. The decline in sales of the blood-clotting medicine Kogenate™ (Fx adj. minus 5.7 percent) was partly explained by the high sales level of the prior-year quarter. Sales of the multiple sclerosis drug Betaferon™/Betaseron™ receded by 21.5 percent (Fx adj.), mainly due to increased competition in the United States. Business with the YAZ™/Yasmin™/Yasminelle™ line of oral contraceptives was hampered chiefly by generic competition, with sales of these products down by 2.6 percent (Fx adj.).
Sales of the Consumer Health segment in the first quarter of 2014, at EUR 1,790 million, were flat with the prior-year period on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis. In Consumer Care, the skincare product Bepanthen™/Bepanthol™ and the dietary supplement Supradyn™ in particular registered growth (Fx adj. 21.9 percent and 15.0 percent, respectively). In the Medical Care Division, the U.S. Diabetes Care business continued to be held back by price declines. Sales of the Contour™ line of blood glucose meters receded by 11.5 percent (Fx adj.). Sales of contrast agents and medical equipment in the Radiology & Interventional business were slightly down on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis. On the other hand, business with animal health products developed favorably, with growth particularly for the Advantage™ family of flea, tick and worm control products (Fx adj. plus 10.8 percent).
Despite significant negative currency effects of some EUR 130 million or approximately 11 percent, EBITDA before special items of HealthCare rose by 1.9 percent to EUR 1,301 million (Q1 2013: EUR 1,277 million). The improvement was due to the very good business development at Pharmaceuticals, while earnings at Consumer Health declined slightly. Earnings were also held back by higher selling expenses and research and development costs.
"Our Life Science businesses continued their dynamic development and achieved slight earnings increases despite significant negative currency effects," Bayer CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers said on Monday when the interim report was published. HealthCare experienced strong growth thanks to the gratifying development in sales of the recently launched pharmaceutical products. CropScience benefited from an early start to the season in Europe. MaterialScience, in particular, raised earnings substantially. "We are confident about our business development for the rest of the year and confirm our guidance for 2014," said Dekkers.
About Bayer HealthCare
The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 18.9 billion (2013), is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 56,000 employees (Dec 31, 2013) and is represented in more than 100 countries.