Bayer has posted a healthy set of figures for the second quarter which which show that turnover rose 10.0% to a record 10.18 billion euros, though earnings fell by a third as funds were set aside to deal with lawsuits related to its Yasmin/Yaz birth control pills.
Net income was down 33.9% to 494 million euros, due to one-time charges of 762 million euros. That includes 496 million euros to cover settlement costs from litigation concerning the Yaz/Yasmin (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) contraceptive franchise.
Bayer has been hit by lawsuits in the USA from women claiming the contraceptives caused blood clots. The firm has already reached agreements, without admission of liability, to settle the claims of 1,877 claimants for $402.6 million; sales of the franchise fell 6.4% to 254 million euros due to generic competition.
Overall pharmaceutical revenues increased 4.3% to 2.69 billion euros. Growth was achieved mainly in North America and the emerging markets, especially China. while there were "slight declines in Europe.
Mirena, the firm’s levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine contraceptive system, was the biggest riser, up 26.7% to 199 million euros, while Bayer's best-seller was Betaferon/Betaseron (interferon beta 1b) for multiple sclerosis, up 10.2% to 319 million euros. The haemophilia agent Kogenate (recombinant antihaemophilic factor) rose 4.1% to 289 million euros.
Nexavar (sorafenib), which is approved for liver as well as advanced kidney cancer, contributed 195 million euros, up 7.5%, while the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra (vardenafil) declined 16.9% to 70 million euros. The anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban), which Bayer believes will be its key earnings driver, contributed 68 million euros, up from 19 million euros in the like, year-earlier period.
Chief executive Marijn Dekkers (pictured) noted that all Bayer's subgroups contributed to the encouraging increase in sales, particularly CropScience and Healthcare. He noted that the firm is benefiting from "a very favourable currency environment" and has raised its sales and earnings forecast for the full year.
Bayer now expects turnover to increase 4% and 5%, up from its earlier forecast of 3%, resulting in group sales of 39-40 billion euros, compared with its earlier 37 billion euros forecast. Full-year earnings before interest and taxes should rise by a high single-digit percentage, compared with an earlier forecast of a slight improvement.