By Cecilia Butini 
 

Bayer AG on Tuesday posted earnings and sales that beat consensus expectations, and guided for increased earnings and sales in the year ahead.

The German pharmaceutical-and-agricultural company reported net profit of 1.16 billion euros ($1.30 billion) for the last quarter of the year, up from EUR308 million in the same quarter the year prior and beating analysts' expectations of EUR731 million.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization before special items came in at EUR2.40 billion, also up from the previous year, when it was EUR2.39 billion.

Sales grew to EUR11.12 billion from EUR10 billion the year prior, beating consensus expectations of EUR10.47 billion.

Sales in Bayer's agricultural crop science division increased 11% from the same quarter the previous year, with growth was spread across all regions, especially Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Crop science earnings also grew, which the company attributed to higher prices and volumes, and to contributions from efficiency program.

Regarding continuing U.S. litigation over its weedkiller Roundup--which some consumers have claimed it caused their cancer--the company said it sees "encouraging steps," and that it is prepared for any outcome from the U.S. Supreme Court. Bayer last year initiated a five-point plan to address potential future claims connected to Roundup, which it said it is continuing to execute.

Sales of prescription medicines, part of Bayer's pharmaceutical division, grew by 7.4% in the year, with some of the division's businesses showing recovery from headwinds caused by the pandemic, the company said. Consumer-health sales also grew during 2021, boosted by demand coming from greater focus on health and prevention during the pandemic.

Looking ahead, Bayer said it expects to significantly increase sales, earnings and free cash flow in 2022. Sales are expected to be about EUR46 billion in the year ahead, while Ebitda before special items should be about EUR12 billion, Bayer said.

Core earnings per share are expected to be about EUR7, while free cash flow is seen at about EUR2 billion to EUR2.5 billion, after deducting settlement payments.

Bayer said it would propose to maintain its dividend unchanged to EUR2.

 

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

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 01, 2022 02:58 ET (07:58 GMT)

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