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Source: Bayer news release

To view the complete report, click here.

The Bayer Group started the year 2014 with encouraging growth in sales and earnings. "Our Life Science businesses continued their dynamic development and achieved slight earnings increases despite significant negative currency effects," Bayer CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers said on Monday when the interim report was published.

HealthCare experienced strong growth thanks to the gratifying development in sales of the recently launched pharmaceutical products. CropScience benefited from an early start to the season in Europe. MaterialScience, in particular, raised earnings substantially.

"We are confident about our business development for the rest of the year and confirm our guidance for 2014," said Dekkers.

Sales of the Bayer Group advanced by 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to EUR 10,555 million (Q1 2013: EUR 10,266 million). Adjusted for currency and portfolio effects (Fx & portfolio adj.), business expanded by 8.4 percent. EBIT rose by 18.4 percent to EUR 2,096 million (Q1 2013: EUR 1,771 million) after net special items of plus EUR 7 million (Q1 2013: minus EUR 45 million).

EBIT before special items increased by 15.0 percent to EUR 2,089 million (Q1 2013: EUR 1,816 million). In spite of negative currency effects of some EUR 200 million or roughly 8 percent, EBITDA before special items improved by 11.6 percent to EUR 2,738 million (Q1 2013: EUR 2,453 million).

Net income climbed by 22.7 percent to EUR 1,423 million (Q1 2013: EUR 1,160 million) and core earnings per share by 14.7 percent to EUR 1.95 (Q1 2013: EUR 1.70).

Strong start to the season at CropScience

Sales of the agriculture business (CropScience) increased in the first quarter by 4.9 percent (Fx & portfolio adj. plus 11.8 percent) to EUR 2,900 million (Q1 2013: EUR 2,764 million). Both Crop Protection/Seeds and Environmental Science contributed to this encouraging growth.

"Our business benefited mainly from an early start to the season in Europe and strong sales in Latin America," Dekkers said. The subgroup grew sales by 17.0 percent (Fx adj.) in Europe and by 21.3 percent (Fx adj.) in Latin America/Africa/ Middle East. Sales advanced by 8.2 percent (Fx adj.) in Asia/Pacific and 4.3 percent (Fx adj.) in North America.

The Crop Protection business saw positive development in all business units, with new products (launched since 2006) playing a key role. The Fungicides (Fx & portfolio adj. plus 16.6 percent), SeedGrowth (Fx & portfolio adj. plus 19.1 percent) and Insecticides (Fx & portfolio adj. plus 12.6 percent) units all posted double-digit growth rates.

Herbicides (Fx & portfolio adj. plus 7.7 percent) mainly benefited from the good development of products for use in cereals. Business in the Seeds unit also expanded markedly (Fx & portfolio adj. plus 11.9 percent).

Environmental Science registered a positive performance both by products for professional users and by the consumer business, raising sales by 7.9 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.).

Despite negative currency effects of about EUR 70 million or approximately 6 percent, EBITDA before special items advanced by 1.6 percent to EUR 1,098 million (Q1 2013: EUR 1,081 million).

This earnings growth was mainly attributable to significantly increased volumes and higher selling prices. However, earnings were hampered by increases in both selling expenses and research and development expenses.

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