It was good news from Bayer this morning after the firm beat performance targets for 2007 following its “most successful year to date”, according to Management Board Chairman Werner Wenning.

The group saw its sales rise nearly 12% to 32.4 billion euros, reflecting organic growth of 6.1% after being adjusted for currency and portfolio effects, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and before special items jumped 21.4% to 6.8 billion euros.

Bayer HealthCare posted the strongest growth among the group’s three divisions, with revenues leaping 26.3% to 14.8 billion euros on a strong performance by the pharmaceuticals segment, which rocketed 37.3% to 10.3 billion euros.

The oral contraceptives Yasmin (ethinyl estradiol/drospirenone), YAZ and Yasminelle, which the firm gained through its acquisition of Schering AG in 2006, saw currency-adjusted sales climb leap 37% pro forma during the year, with sales of the franchise overshooting the 1 billion-euro mark, as did turnover of the multiple sclerosis treatment Betaferon (interferon beta 1b), which grew 7% pro forma.

Furthermore, the group’s cancer agent Nexavar (sorafenib) is also doing particularly well, with sales more than doubling to 270 million euros “in only the second year after its introduction”, Wenning said.

Bayer has predicted further growth for 2008, with sales growth of around 5% on a currency-adjusted basis, and says it plans “to achieve an underlying EBITDA margin of over 22% for the group in 2009.”

A full analysis of the results will be published by PharmaTimes World News tomorrow