Week's news analysis

Bayer boosts drug pipeline with Vividion buy,
lifts outlook

By the Editors with Reuters - 05 August 2021
Logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen, Germany February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Bayer, on Thursday 5 august, boosted its drug pipeline with a $2 billion takeover and lifted its outlook for 2021 after sales of prescription medicines recovered from restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bayer now expects sales of 43 billion euros ($50.9 billion) this year, up from 41 billion earlier. Core earnings (EBITDA) before special items are seen at 10.6 billion to 10.9 billion euros, compared with 10.5 billion to 10.8 billion previously.

The more optimistic outlook was partly driven by Bayer's pharmaceuticals division, where second-quarter sales rose 16.2% and which is being strengthened with the acquisition of Vividion Therapeutics for up to $2 billion.

"Vividion's unique technologies and special expertise will significantly strengthen our drug discovery capabilities," Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in a statement.

On a group level, second-quarter EBITDA before special items fell 10.6% to 2.58 billion euros, while sales were up 12.9% at 10.85 billion, the agriculture and pharmaceuticals group said.

Analysts, in a poll provided by the company, had on average expected earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation before special items of 2.79 billion euros and sales of 10.16 billion in the second quarter.

Bayer last week said it would book additional provisions of $4.5 billion related to litigation which alleges that its weedkiller Roundup - bought as part of its Monsanto takeover - can cause cancer, bringing the total to $16.1 billion.

($1 = 0.8450 euros)

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