Bayer confirms forecasts as Monsanto integration grinds on
German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer confirmed its full-year forecasts Tuesday, after a solid performance in the firm's first full quarter of integrating US seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto.
Net profit slumped 25.6 percent year-on-year to 2.9 billion euros ($3.3 billion) between July and September but that was still good enough to beat estimates from analysts surveyed by Factset.
The results reflected the comparison with a positive one-off effect in 2017's third quarter, when Bayer sold off parts of its former specialist chemicals subsidiary Covestro to fund the $63-billion takeover of Monsanto.
Operating, or underlying profits before special items at the group were steady year-on-year, at 2.2 billion euros in the three months, while revenues jumped 23.4 percent to 9.9 billion euros.
The third quarter also saw Bayer sell off some of its seeds and pesticides businesses, worth 7.6 billion euros, to rival BASF—a condition imposed by competition authorities before the Monsanto deal could go ahead.
That meant that operating profit after special items more than tripled, to 4.4 billion euros.
Looking ahead to the full year, Bayer aims to book revenues of "more than 39 billion euros", having already increased the forecast to take account of its enlarged agrochemical arm after the Monsanto acquisition.
One of Germany's largest-ever corporate takeovers, the merger was blasted as a "marriage made in hell" by campaigners before it was waved through by authorities.
Bayer's stock has fallen since August, after an American court ordered Monsanto to pay tens of millions of dollars in compensation to a Californian gardener suffering from cancer on the basis that the St Louis-based firm failed to inform him of the dangers related to its herbicide glyphosate.
Bayer said it has made a "successful start to the integration process" and is confident it can marshal the scientific evidence to fend off some 9,300 pending cases over alleged cancer risks from glyphosate.
© 2018 AFP