Sun, 20 Sep 2020

BERLIN, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- German pharmaceutical and chemical company Bayer announced on Tuesday a net loss of around 9.5 billion euros (11.2 billion U.S. dollars) in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 due to provisions for the glyphosate settlement in the United States.

At the end of June, Bayer announced to have reached an agreement with a majority of plaintiffs in the litigation concerning its glyphosate-based weed killers. According to Bayer, the company assumed legal cost of up to 10.9 billion U.S. dollars for the settlement and possible future cases.

In the same quarter of the previous year, Bayer recorded a profit of 404 million euros, the company noted.

Bayer's sales in Q2 declined 2.5 percent from the previous year to 10.05 billion euros, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) before special items rose by 5.6 percent to 2.88 billion euros, according to the pharmaceutical and chemical giant.

"Thanks to the growth in our agricultural business, we raised EBITDA before special items and we did so in a challenging environment," said Werner Baumann, chairman of the board of management.

In Bayer's agricultural business, Crop Science, sales from soybean seeds and traits rose particularly strong by 9.3 percent, "with business recovering in North America thanks to an increase in acreages and to shifts in demand from the first quarter arising from uncertainties over COVID-19."

At the same time, sales at pharmaceuticals declined by 8.8 percent, Bayer stated. Contact restrictions and protective measures introduced worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a "drop in elective treatments in doctors' offices and hospitals."

According to Bayer, its business in China was held back by the implementation of a volume-based procurement policy that included substantial price reductions for off-patent products.

However, Bayer was able raise sales of its oral anticoagulant Xarelto which allowed treatments to continue outside of hospitals and doctors' offices by 6.8 percent year-on-year, largely due to higher volumes in China, Russia and Germany.

For the current year, the company lowered its outlook slightly, expecting currency-adjusted sales to grow between zero and one percent to 43 to 44 billion euros.

Following the announcement, shares of Bayer decreased by more than 3 percent in early trading on Tuesday, making Bayer the biggest losers among Germany's 30 largest companies listed in the DAX. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars)

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