German drug maker Bayer sees stronger profits from new blood thinner, eye drug

FRANKFURT – Drug and materials company Bayer AG says net profit rose 42 per cent as sales increased for its new drugs aimed at preventing blood clots and treating the eye disease macular degeneration, while one-time expenses dropped.

Net profit reached 733 million euros ($1.01 billion), up from 516 million in the same quarter a year ago.

The profit figure was short of the average estimate for 748 million euros net as compiled by financial information provider FactSet. The company’s shares traded little changed, up 0.2 per cent at 92.72 euros in mid-morning trading in Europe.

The company’s health care division “registered encouraging growth, largely due to the outstanding sales performance for our new pharmaceutical products,” CEO Marijn Dekkers said in a statement.

The company credited sales of new products such as blood thinner Xarelto, macular degeneration drug Eylea, and cancer drugs Stivarga and Xofigo. Their combined sales rose to 407 million euros from 82 million euros a year ago, helping the pharmaceuticals division boost its earnings by 8 per cent to 915 million euros.

Sales fell 3 per cent, however, at the division that makes high-tech plastics and foam materials that manufacturers use. Price increases in Latin America, Africa and the Middle east could only partly offset declines in Europe and Asia, while U.S. pricing was flat.

Revenue fell 0.2 per cent to 9.64 billion euros. The company said Thursday that revenues rose 6 per cent when stripping out the impact the euro’s recent rise, which shrinks foreign-currency revenues when they are re-stated in euros.