Bayer expects momentum from solid 2016 to continue

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Bayer expects the momentum from a record year to continue in 2017 as it progresses with its acquisition of Monsanto.

The German chemical and pharma conglomerate booked a 10.2 per cent increase in net profit to €4.53bn in the 12 months to December 31 on a 1.5 per cent increase in sales to €47.77bn.

Werner Baumann, Bayer’s chairman, said the company had a very successful 2016 both strategically and operationally. “We again posted a record operating performance – and are making good progress with the agreed acquisition of Monsanto as well,” he said.

Management said pharmaceuticals posted “encouraging sales and earnings growth”. The consumer healthcare business recorded sales growth on a currency-adjusted basis, but earnings retreated.

Bayer guided toward group sales (including those of the Covestro spin-off) increasing to more than €49bn, which corresponds to a low- to mid-single-digit percentage increase on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis. Ebitda before special items is expected to rise by a mid-single digit percentage, having grown by 10.2 per cent to €11.3bn in 2016.

The company is aiming for growth in core earnings per share from continuing operations around the mid-single-digits, after raising it by 7.3 per cent to 7.32 euro cents last year.

In December, Monsanto’s shareholders approved the $66bn takeover of their company by Bayer. The German company said it had made progress in the necessary antitrust proceedings and has applied for regulatory clearance with about two-thirds of 30 relevant authorities. Bayer is confident of completing the transaction before the end of 2017.

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