BayerBayer had a very successful year in 2016, both strategically and operationally. Sales of the Bayer Group increased in 2016 by 1.5 percent (Fx & portfolio adj. 3.5 percent) to EUR 46,769 million (2015: EUR 46,085 million). EBITDA before special items advanced by 10.2 percent to EUR 11,302 million (2015: EUR 10,256 million). EBIT rose by 12.8 percent to EUR 7,042 million (2015: EUR 6,241 million) after special charges of EUR 1,088 million (2015: EUR 819 million). These resulted mainly from impairment losses on intangible assets, charges in connection with efficiency improvement programs and costs for the integration of acquired businesses. EBIT before special items climbed by 15.2 percent to EUR 8,130 million (2015: EUR 7,060 million). Net income improved by 10.2 percent to EUR 4,531 million (2015: EUR 4,110 million), and core earnings per share from continuing operations by 7.3 percent to EUR 7.32 (2015: EUR 6.82).

"We again posted a record operating performance - and are making good progress with the agreed acquisition of Monsanto as well," Management Board Chairman Werner Baumann said on Wednesday at the Financial News Conference in Leverkusen. Pharmaceuticals once again posted encouraging sales and earnings growth. Consumer Health recorded sales growth on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis (Fx & portfolio adj.), while earnings were down. At Crop Science, currency- and portfolio-adjusted sales and clean EBITDA remained steady despite the persistently difficult market environment. Animal Health posted currency- and portfolio-adjusted sales growth, while earnings were on a par with the prior-year level. Covestro raised earnings sharply, while sales attained the prior-year level after adjustment for currency and portfolio effects. "We have every reason to be optimistic about the future and started the new business year well," said Baumann. He raised the prospect of further growth in sales and earnings in 2017.

Bayer last year took a major strategic step forward with the agreed acquisition of Monsanto, said Baumann. "This transaction is the perfect fit for our strategy of seeking leadership positions with our Life Science activities in attractive, innovation-driven markets." Once the businesses have been combined, Bayer would be able to create substantial additional value in the long term through more innovation, stronger growth and greater efficiency. At a special meeting in December 2016, Monsanto’s stockholders approved the transaction. Bayer has also made progress in the necessary antitrust proceedings and has already applied for clearance from some two-thirds of around 30 authorities. Bayer and Monsanto are working closely with the authorities. Bayer remains confident of closing the transaction before the end of 2017.

Gratifying sales and earnings growth at Pharmaceuticals
Sales of prescription medicines rose by 8.7 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.) to EUR 16,420 million (2015: EUR 15,308 million). "Sales at Pharmaceuticals advanced by a gratifying amount. We expanded business markedly in all regions," said Baumann. Business with the key growth products developed particularly robustly. The oral anticoagulant Xarelto™, the eye medicine Eylea™, the cancer drugs Xofigo™ and Stivarga™, and the pulmonary hypertension treatment Adempas™ posted total combined sales of EUR 5,413 million (2015: EUR 4,231 million). Sales of Xarelto™ climbed by 30.8 percent on a currency-adjusted basis (Fx adj.), due particularly to expanded volumes in Europe and Japan. Bayer also posted significant gains for its license revenues - recognized as sales - in the United States, where Xarelto™ is marketed by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Sales of Eylea™ again advanced strongly (Fx adj. plus 33.0 percent). The product developed especially well in Europe, Canada and Japan.

Among the other leading pharmaceutical products, the hormone-releasing intrauterine devices of the Mirena™ product family posted significant sales growth of 8.8 percent (Fx adj.), thanks in particular to positive price development in the United States and the launch of the new low-dose intrauterine device Kyleena™. The MRI contrast agent Gadavist™/Gadovist™ once again grew strongly (Fx adj. plus 19.7 percent), due especially to a significant expansion of volumes in Japan and the United States. Sales of Aspirin™ Cardio for the secondary prevention of heart attacks benefited from an improved business situation in China and Latin America, gaining 7.4 percent (Fx adj.). Sales of the multiple sclerosis treatment Betaferon™/Betaseron™ declined (Fx adj. minus 9.9 percent), however, due mainly to weaker business performance in Europe and the United States.

EBITDA before special items of Pharmaceuticals advanced by 13.8 percent to EUR 5,251 million (2015: EUR 4,616 million). The substantial growth in earnings was largely attributable to our very good business development. Much higher investments in research and development and negative currency effects of around EUR 65 million had an opposing effect.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its 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 2015, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015.