By Cecilia Butini 
 

Bayer AG said Thursday that its net loss for the second quarter narrowed on year despite provisions for Roundup weedkiller litigation, and raised its outlook for the full year.

The German conglomerate posted a net loss of 2.34 billion euros ($2.77 billion) for the quarter compared with a loss of EUR9.55 billion for the same quarter the previous year, missing a company consensus which saw it posting a net profit of EUR793 million.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization before special items fell to EUR2.58 billion from EUR2.88 billion the year prior.

Sales grew to EUR10.85 billion from EUR10.05 billion for the previous-year period, which had been significantly affected by restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Bayer said.

A sales consensus provided by Vara Research saw sales coming in at EUR10.16 billion, while Ebitda before special items was seen at EUR2.79 billion.

Earnings were affected by the setting aside of further provisions to tackle continued litigation regarding glyphosate--the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller and which is accused of causing cancer--coming in at EUR3.5 billion, Bayer said.

Sales increased in all three business areas of pharmaceuticals, agriculture and consumer health, Bayer said. Sales in the agriculture division rose, as expected by analysts, reaching EUR5.02 billion across regions.

The company's pharma business reported a recovery from the pandemic, with ophtalmology, women's healthcare and radiology driving the growth. Sales in the division reached EUR4.49 billion, according to Bayer. The company's consumer health division also grew on-year, driven by high demand for nutritional products, Bayer said.

Citing good business performance in the first half of the year, Bayer lifted its forecast for 2021.

Adjusting for currency effects, sales are expected to come in at EUR44 billion for the full year, versus a previous forecast which saw them approximately between EUR42 billion and EUR43 billion. Based on the closing rates as of June 30, the expected figure is EUR43 billion for the full year.

Ebitda before special items is expected to remain in the previously communicated range of EUR11.2 billion to EUR11.5 billion when adjusting for currency effects, while it is seen between EUR10.6 billion and EUR10.9 billion according to closing rates on June 30.

Core earnings per share are seen rising to a range of EUR6.40 to EUR6.60, adjusting for currency effects. Based on the closing rates on June 30, core EPS are seen between EUR6 and EUR6.2 for the full year.

 

Write to Cecilia Butini at cecilia.butini@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 05, 2021 03:31 ET (07:31 GMT)

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