Germany’s Bayer will be feeling distinctly cheered this morning after posting a 20% rise in second quarter sales to in excess of 7 billion euros and a tripling of group income to 406 million euros. The company, which has been in a nadir following the 2001 withdrawal of its cholesterol-lowering drug Lipobay/Baycol (cerivastatin) [[08/08/01a]], is now on the up and has “significantly raised” its full year 2005 sales and earnings targets as a consequence of today’s figures.

For the full year, Bayer says it now expects to see group sales rise above 26 billion euros – 1 billion more than previous estimates – and predicts a doubling in its anticipated earnings rise (before interest, tax and special items), from 20% in earlier guidance to 40%. The 2004 EBIT and special items figure was 2.1 billion euros.

And healthcare too put in a pleasing performance, triggering the German group to up the guidance for this once-embattled unit for a second time this year [[10/05/05a]]. It now forecasts at least a 10% jump in underlying EBIT over 2004.

Healthcare sales were lifted 18% during the second quarter to 2.4 billion euros, driven by Bayer’s acquisition of the Roche consumer health business [[22/11/04c]]. The boost in pharmaceuticals and biologicals was solid but unspectacular at 5% to 988 million euros. Notable products included Trasylol (aprotinin injection), the antibiotic Avelox (moxifloxacin) and the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra (vardenafil), sales of which “more than offset” the US decline of the now off-patent antibiotic Cipro (ciprofloxacin), says Bayer [[11/06/04e]].

Spotlighting the pharmaceuticals division shows sales growth of just 0.3% to 746 million euros, but Bayer says the “positive business trend, earnings from the alliance with Schering-Plough [[13/09/04b]] and cost savings” resulted in an almost doubling of its EBIT figure for this unit excluding 20 million euros relating to Lipobay litigation.