Bayer optimistic for 2005 after strategic revamp

15th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 March 2005, LEVERKUSEN - German chemical concern Bayer expressed optimism on Tuesday about its 2005 business prospects, predicting strong sales and earnings growth after last year's upturn and the company's strategic reorganisation.

15 March 2005

LEVERKUSEN - German chemical concern Bayer expressed optimism on Tuesday about its 2005 business prospects, predicting strong sales and earnings growth after last year's upturn and the company's strategic reorganisation.

In comments accompanying Bayer's full 2004 business figures, the company said it expects sales revenues to increase five percent while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) are foreseen showing 20 percent growth.

Bayer said its optimism was based on results after the first two months of 2005, coming atop the strong figures posted last year. In 2004, Bayer's net sales increased 4.2 percent to nearly EUR 29.8 billion, while EBIT came to almost EUR 1.81 billion in a recovery from the EUR 1.1 billion red-ink in 2003.

Net income in 2004 also showed a strong turnaround, reaching EUR 603 million, compared with a loss of EUR 1.36 billion the year before, Bayer's annual report sheet showed.

Company chairman Werner Wenning said the 2004 results showed that "Bayer's realignment is clearly successful". Shareholders were to benefit this year, with Bayer raising its dividend by 5 cents to EUR 0.55 per share.

"I believe we can be satisfied with the advances made so far toward achieving the ambitious profitability goals we set ourselves for 2006," Wenning said.

He cited the success of last year's reorganisation which included the spin-off of chemical activities and one-third of polymer activities into the new company Lanxess, along with the successful stock-market launch of Lanxess.

"Bayer now has a new face," Wenning said. "We are heading into the future with our three subgroups Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, supported by competent service companies. Our strategy is thus clearly defined."

DPA

Subject: German news

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