Business World

Sunday 16 June 2019

Bayer profit lifted by Monsanto, consumer health

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images Business Desk Business Desk

Bayer's adjusted core earnings rose 15.8pc in the fourth quarter, boosted by the addition of US seeds maker Monsanto and on cost cuts at its consumer healthcare business.

Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to €2.07bn, the maker of pharmaceuticals and farming pesticides said on Wednesday, beating the average analyst projection of €2bn.

Previously announced write-downs on the value of consumer health brands and one-off charges from the closure of a German haemophilia drug plant led to a quarterly net loss of €3.9bn.

Adjusted EBITDA at its non-prescription consumer products unit, which plans to shed the Coppertone sunscreen and Dr. Scholl's footcare brands, rose 11pc to €279m in the quarter, on 4.9pc lower sales, as it reined in costs.

Bayer, which wrapped up the $63bn Monsanto purchase in June, has not yet been able to show the new business's pulling power as about 80pc of its earnings are generated during the January-to-June period.

Fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA of the enlarged agriculture division jumped 79pc to a better-than-expected €543m.

Meanwhile, litigation risks are piling up. The number of plaintiffs seeking damages for an alleged role of Monsanto's popular weedkiller Roundup in their cancer jumped to 11,200 from 9,300.

The German company, which says scientists and regulators across the globe have found the product to be safe, faces a second US jury, following an initial verdict in California state court that was reduced to $78m in damages.


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