Bayer optimistic for 2013 after profits slip in 2012

28th February 2013, Comments 0 comments

German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer, maker of Aspirin, said Thursday profits were down slightly in 2012 owing to litigation connected with a contraceptive pill, but it was optimistic for the current year.

Bayer said in a statement it booked a net profit of 2.446 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in 2012, down 1.0 percent year-on-year.

Underlying or operating profit fell by 4.6 percent to 3.96 billion euros, despite an 8.8-percent increase in sales to 39.76 billion euros, the statement said.

Earnings were hit, however, by one-off items of 1.7 billion euros, including 1.186 billion euros in litigation expenses in connection with its oral contraceptive Yasmin, which can increase the risk of blood clots, Bayer explained.

Adjusted for this, earnings before interest and tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 8.8 percent to 8.284 billion euros, driven by a "good business performance" and the positive effects of cost-cutting measures, it said.

"2012 was a very successful year for the Bayer group. We continued to grow dynamically and achieved our targets. All divisions posted gains in sales and earnings before special items," boasted chief executive Marijn Dekkers.

"Last year's results were pleasing, and we are also optimistic for 2013," Dekkers said.

For 2013, Bayer was pencilling in sales growth of between 4.0-5.0 percent to sales of around 41 billion euros.

EBITDA was expected to rise by a "mid-single-digit percentage" or around 5.0 percent, it added.

© 2013 AFP

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