Bayer profits, sales, rise on strong new drug business

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Boosted by strong sales of its new drugs, global pharmaceuticals and chemicals company Bayer AG said fourth-quarter net income jumped by 24 percent to 455 million euros ($628 million) from 366 million euros in the 2012 fourth quarter while sales rose by 6.4 percent to 9.9 billion euros.

However profits before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and special charges (EBITDA) fell 3.1 percent to 1.77 billion euros, missing analysts’ average estimate of 1.92 billion euros. Higher costs for research and development and negative currency effects in emerging international markets hurt profits, the company said.

Bayer is headquartered in Germany and its North American material sciences business is based in Robinson.

For the full year, net income rose by nearly 33 percent to 3.2 billion euros. Worldwide sales edged up 1 percent to a record 40.2 billion euros.

While recently launched drug products boosted the health care unit’s sales by nearly 2 percent, and strong agricultural product sales pushed the crop science segment’s revenues up by 5 percent, material science sales fell by 2 percent. Marijn Dekkers, Bayer chairman, said the material science business, which makes chemicals and plastics, was hurt by raw material price increases and an overall “difficult market environment.”

Full-year sales in North America were 9.7 billion euros, an increase of 1 percent over 2012.

Bayer has about 2,300 employees in the Pittsburgh region including those at the Robinson campus and those who work for Medrad, a Marshall-based subsidiary of Bayer HealthCare.

Joyce Gannon: or 412-263-1580.

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