Bayer profit up by 12.4 percent, says set for US settlements

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German chemical company Bayer, maker of Aspirin, said Thursday that its third quarter net profit gained 12.4 percent to 280 million euros (386 million dollars), well below analyst expectations.

Bayer said it had taken 436 million euros in provisions for US court cases, including 386 million euros to settle legal action involving its Crop Science division in connection with genetically modified rice.

Meanwhile, Bayer's sales gained 16.1 percent to 8.58 billion euros in the three-month period, while core earnings before special items gained 10.5 percent to 1.66 billion euros.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a slightly lower result of 1.6 billion euros.

Bayer said it had reduced net debt by 1.6 billion euros to 9.1 billion and confirmed its outlook for 2010 as a whole.

It still expects "adjusted sales growth of over five percent" and aims to increase core earnings "before special items to more than seven billion euros. "Core earnings per share are still expected to improve by more than 15 percent," the group said.

© 2010 AFP

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