Bayer has posted a solid set of figures for the second quarter which reveal a 40.9% leap in net income to 747 million euros, although pharmaceutical sales were flat.

Group turnover edged up 0.8% to 9.25 billion euros, while sales at the German group’s healthcare division fell 2.3% to 4.21 billion euros. Pharmaceutical revenues inched up 0.5% to 2.66 billion euros, helped by positive currency and portfolio effects.

As for specific drugs, the Yaz/Yasmin/Yasminelle (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) contraceptive franchise fell 7.0% (currency adjusted) to 263 million euros, hurt by generic competition to Yaz in the USA. However,  Mirena, the firm’s levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine contraceptive system, contributed 144 million euros, up 26.2%.

Revenues of Betaferon/Betaseron (interferon beta 1b) for multiple sclerosis fell 4.7% to 273 million euros, hit by increased competition and European health system reforms.

Kogenate selling well

On the plus side, sales of the haemophilia agent Kogenate (recombinant antihaemophilic factor) increased 15.4% to 262 million euros, but Nexavar (sorafenib), which is approved for liver as well as advanced kidney cancer, contributed 171 million euros, down 4.4%.

The antibiotic Avelox (moxifloxacin) fell 6.8% to 118 million euros and sales of the hypertension treatment Adalat (nifedipine) were down 9.5% at 156 million euros. The erectile dysfunction drug Levitra (vardenafil) decreased 10.6% to 82 million euros.

In terms of pharma, chief executive Marijn Dekkers (pictured) said growth in sales in the emerging markets, especially China, offset the weak performance in North America and western Europe. He added that "we have also achieved significant progress with products from our R&D pipeline", noting that "the efficiency-enhancing measures announced in November 2010 are being implemented as planned".

Dr Dekkers confirmed Bayer’s forecast for 2011, which was raised in April. It expects a currency- and portfolio-adjusted sales increase of 5%-7%, ie 36-37 billion euros, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation before special items to over 7.5 billion euros.