Bayer benefits from the agricultural business – but expects profits to fall in 2023

Dusseldorf After two years of significant growth, the prospects for the pharmaceutical and agricultural group Bayer are clouding over. For 2023, the Leverkusen-based company only expects a slight increase in sales, the adjusted operating result is even likely to decline. Because Bayer expects prices to fall both for its weed killer glyphosate and for some established drugs such as the blockbuster Xarelto.

Adjusted for currency effects, the group expects sales of 51 to 52 billion euros, adjusted earnings (Ebitda) are likely to fall to 12.5 to 13 billion euros. Bayer shares fell 1.4 percent in early trading in Frankfurt, slipping to the bottom of the Dax.

In 2022, adjusted earnings had increased by more than a fifth to 13.5 billion euros. The company also benefited from positive currency effects. All three of Bayer’s businesses were up, but the company’s most notable gains came from its agriculture business, driven by higher glyphosate prices amid a tight supply.

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While business with over-the-counter health products went well over the year as a whole, Bayer only grew slightly in the pharmaceuticals sector – mainly due to a significant drop in sales of its anticoagulant Xarelto, which is suffering from price pressure and the first patent expirations.

Sales increased last year by a good 15 percent to 50.74 billion euros, currency-adjusted there was an increase of 8.7 percent. “Despite the adverse conditions, 2022 was a very successful year for Bayer. We delivered even in difficult times and achieved the financial targets we raised in August,” said outgoing CEO Werner Baumann.

The bottom line was that the group made a profit of 4.15 (previous year: 1.0) billion euros. The shareholders are to receive a 40 cent higher dividend of EUR 2.40 per share.

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