Strong start to the year for Bayer

BayerThe Bayer Group had a strong start to 2015 and once again expanded sales in the first quarter. Sales of the Bayer Group moved ahead in the first quarter of 2015 by 14.8 percent to EUR 12,117 million (Q1 2014: EUR 10,555 million). Adjusted for currency and portfolio effects (Fx & portfolio adj.), sales grew by 2.7 percent. EBITDA before special items climbed by 9.6 percent to EUR 3,000 million (Q1 2014: EUR 2,738 million). This good business development was accompanied by higher R&D and selling expenses. Positive currency effects buoyed earnings by about EUR 50 million. EBIT before special items increased by 7.3 percent to EUR 2,242 million (Q1 2014: EUR 2,089 million). On the other hand, EBIT fell by 4.7 percent to EUR 1,998 million (Q1 2014: EUR 2,096 million). Earnings in the first quarter of 2015 were held back by net special charges of EUR 244 million (Q1 2014: net special gains of EUR 7 million) that mainly comprised expenses for the integration of acquired businesses, the consolidation of production sites and additional efficiency improvement measures. Net income came to EUR 1,303 million (Q1 2014: EUR 1,423 million), down 8.4 percent year on year. By contrast, core earnings per share advanced by 7.7 percent to EUR 2.10 (Q1 2014: EUR 1.95).

Gross cash flow, at EUR 2,060 million, was on the level of the prior-year quarter (Q1 2014: EUR 2,048 million). Net cash flow rose sharply to EUR 724 million (Q1 2014: EUR 163 million) due to a reduction in cash tied up in working capital. Net financial debt rose by EUR 1.7 billion against December 31, 2014, to EUR 21.3 billion, mainly on account of negative currency effects.

"At HealthCare we continued to benefit from the positive development of our recently launched pharmaceutical products and the gratifying expansion of business in Consumer Health," Bayer CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers said on Thursday when the interim report was published.

HealthCare benefits from recently launched pharmaceutical products and acquisitions
Sales of the HealthCare subgroup increased by 25.6 percent (Fx & portfolio adj. 7.2 percent) to EUR 5,742 million in the first quarter of 2015 (Q1 2014: EUR 4,572 million). "HealthCare achieved encouraging organic growth and also benefited from the acquisitions at Consumer Care," Dekkers explained. The subgroup registered persistently dynamic sales growth at Pharmaceuticals and strong sales gains in the Consumer Health segment.

Sales of the Pharmaceuticals segment rose by 7.2 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.) to EUR 3,200 million. The recently launched products - the anticoagulant Xarelto™, the eye medicine Eylea™, the cancer drugs Stivarga™ and Xofigo™, and Adempas™ to treat pulmonary hypertension - continued their dynamic development, posting combined sales of EUR 898 million (Q1 2014: EUR 598 million). Sales of Xarelto™ climbed by 38.4 percent on a currency-adjusted basis (Fx adj.), while Eylea™ grew by an even more substantial 55.1 percent (Fx adj.). Among the established best-selling products, sales of the Mirena™ line of hormone-releasing intrauterine devices advanced by 14.2 percent (Fx adj.). Sales of Aspirin™ Cardio for secondary prevention of heart attacks rose by 8.3 percent (Fx adj.). Sales of the blood-clotting medicine Kogenate™ were 9.8 percent below the prior-period level (Fx adj.) due to the use of production capacities to develop the next-generation hemophilia medicines. Sales of the multiple sclerosis product Betaferon™/ Betaseron™ declined by 1.0 percent (Fx adj.). The Pharmaceuticals business grew in all regions on a currency-adjusted basis. Development was particularly gratifying in North America and Europe.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech polymer materials. As an innovation company, it sets trends in research-intensive areas. Bayer’s products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed 118,900 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 3.6 billion.

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