German drugs and chemicals maker Bayer has been forced to report two figures from its 2005 financial results before they were due for release, in response to leaked corporate documents, intended for internal use only, appearing in the magazine Capital.
In a statement, Bayer said: “The two figures that have now been made public and which refer to fiscal 2005 require slight correction. Group net income in 2005 is expected to be 1.6 billion euros and not – as incorrectly stated by Capital –1.8 billion euros. This figure is in line with market expectations...The Board of Management will recommend an increase in the dividend of more than 70% to 95 cents and not 90 cents, as reported by Capital.”
The expected result marks a vast improvement on 2004, which saw profit of 603 million euros, and 2003, for which a loss of 1.4 billion euros was recorded, after the group was hit by a 2.6 billion-euro special charge relating to legal claims for the now withdrawn cholesterol-lowering drug Lipobay/Baycol (cerivastatin).
The company will report its full annual results on March 6.