Bayer has posted a solid set of figures for the third quarter which reveal a 125.3% leap in net income to 642 million euros, although pharmaceutical sales disappointed.

Group turnover edged up 1% to 8.67 billion euros, while sales at the German group’s healthcare division fell 1.7% to 4.20 billion euros. Pharmaceutical revenues were down 2.5% to 2.66 billion euros.

As for specific drugs, the Yaz/Yasmin/Yasminelle (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) contraceptive franchise were up 13.2% to 275 million euros, though Mirena, the firm’s levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine contraceptive system, slipped 0.7% to 137 million euros.

Revenues of Betaferon/Betaseron (interferon beta 1b) for multiple sclerosis fell 6.2% to 289 million euros, hit by increased competition and European health system reforms. Sales of the haemophilia agent Kogenate (recombinant antihaemophilic factor) decreased 7.2% to 257 million euros, but Nexavar (sorafenib), which is approved for liver as well as advanced kidney cancer, contributed 177 million euros, up 1.1%.

The antibiotic Avelox (moxifloxacin) was up 3.0% to 103 million euros, though sales of the hypertension treatment Adalat (nifedipine) were down 8.8% at 156 million euros. The erectile dysfunction drug Levitra (vardenafil) sank 31.8% to 75 million euros, "because of the partial reorganisation of distribution for general medicine products in the USA", Bayer said.

Chief executive Marijn Dekkers (pictured) said "the trend in the pharmaceuticals business in the emerging markets was particularly encouraging,” especially in China and Brazil. This was offset by weaker performances in North America and western Europe and Bayer says the pharmaceuticals segment "will not yet resume growing with the market in 2011".