November 09, 2005
Fall Financial News Conference of Bayer AG

Bayer boosts third-quarter earnings: operating result doubled

Third-quarter sales up 19.1 percent to EUR 6,531 million / Strong gains by all subgroups / Group net income up from EUR 52 million to EUR 493 million / Guidance raised again: full-year underlying EBIT expected to increase by about 50 percent


Leverkusen
- The Bayer Group boosted earnings again in the third quarter, doubling its operating result: EBIT before special items moved ahead by 101.5 percent to EUR 691 million (2004: EUR 343 million). All three subgroups registered pleasing gains in sales and earnings, significantly improving their cash flow performance. "One thing I can say straight away is that 2005 has been a very good year for Bayer," said Management Board Chairman Werner Wenning at the Fall Financial News Conference in Leverkusen, again raising the guidance for the full year. Bayer now expects full-year underlying EBIT to increase by about 50 percent. In August, the company had predicted that 2005 earnings would be 40 percent above the prior-year figure of EUR 2,117 million. Bayer confirmed its target of generating more than EUR 26 billion in sales in 2005.

Group sales in the third quarter rose 19.1 percent to EUR 6,531 million (2004: EUR 5,485 million). The main reasons for the increase were the acquisition of the Roche OTC activities, business with Lanxess - which now counts as external sales - and, in particular, a 7 percent rise in selling prices. Adjusted for currency and portfolio effects, sales advanced by 8.1 percent. Underlying EBIT more than doubled due to substantial improvements in all subgroups, the largest earnings contributions coming from HealthCare and MaterialScience. Bayer Group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) before special items climbed by 41.3 percent to EUR 1,164 million (2004: EUR 824 million).

Third-quarter earnings were boosted by net special gains of EUR 179 million, compared to net special charges of EUR 77 million for the same period in 2004. The previously announced changes to Bayer's pension plans in the United States and Germany resulted in a non-cash one-time gain of EUR 280 million in the third quarter. The principal special charges for the period were EUR 33 million for the reorganization of the polyurethanes business, EUR 27 million in write-downs on buildings, EUR 25 million in litigation-related expenses and EUR 13 million in integration costs for the consumer health business acquired from Roche.

EBIT after special items advanced to EUR 870 million (2004: EUR 266 million) in the third quarter, while EBITDA rose by 83.4 percent to EUR 1,370 million (2004: EUR 747 million). Group net income rose even more significantly, improving from EUR 52 million to EUR 493 million. "The third quarter was exceptionally strong, bringing us very close to meeting our profitability targets," said Wenning. Gross cash flow advanced by 46.7 percent to EUR 920 million (2004: EUR 627 million), mainly due to the strong growth in EBIT. Net cash flow climbed by EUR 913 million to EUR 1,438 million.

Gains in all three subgroups

All subgroups contributed to the gratifying overall performance in the third quarter. The strongest growth driver was Bayer HealthCare, which lifted sales by 21.0 percent to EUR 2,373 million (2004: EUR 1,961 million), mainly because of the acquisition of the Roche consumer health business. Adjusted for currency and portfolio changes, sales advanced by 6.5 percent. The Pharmaceuticals Division registered considerable organic growth once again, which more than offset the decline in sales resulting from the patent expiration for Bayer's Cipro® antibiotic in the United States. Levitra® and Trasylol® performed particularly well, while sales of the genetically engineered hemophilia drug Kogenate® improved by 31.7 percent, making it Bayer's best-selling HealthCare product in the third quarter. The HealthCare subgroup's EBIT before special items rose by 12.3 percent to EUR 355 million (2004: EUR 316 million), due in part to the earnings contributions from the alliance with Schering-Plough in the United States.

Wenning said he was also encouraged by the trend at Bayer CropScience. Sales of this subgroup rose by 4.2 percent in the third quarter to EUR 1,171 million (2004: EUR 1,124 million). Currency- and portfolio-adjusted sales remained steady year on year. Less widespread pest infestation in cotton, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, diminished sales of the Insecticides business unit by nearly 4 percent. While revenues of the Fungicides business unit held steady year on year, sales of Herbicides advanced by just under 10 percent. Business with non-agricultural products expanded even faster, with a 16 percent sales increase, and the BioScience Business Group lifted sales by more than 9 percent. CropScience posted a very dynamic earnings performance in the third quarter, which normally is rather weak for seasonal reasons: Underlying EBIT was back in the black at EUR 17 million following a EUR 108 million loss in the third quarter of 2004. This improvement was due to the absence of goodwill amortization, the success of Bayer's efficiency programs and increased sales of high-margin products.

As in the second quarter, Bayer MaterialScience again saw strong growth. Sales of this subgroup moved ahead by 18.4 percent to EUR 2,639 million (2004: EUR 2,228 million). Currency- and portfolio-adjusted sales rose by 13.4 percent. By contrast to the previous year, BMS succeeded in implementing substantial price increases in the market in light of strong demand and the continuing high cost of raw materials, Wenning explained. Underlying EBIT climbed by 150.7 percent to EUR 366 million (2004: EUR 146 million).

Strong growth in all regions

Sales advanced in all regions in the third quarter - particularly in Europe, where business expanded by 22.1 percent due to the Roche OTC acquisition and a strong performance by MaterialScience. Disregarding the portfolio effects, sales in Germany were up by about 11 percent. Bayer also achieved a very good performance in North America, where all three subgroups contributed to an overall sales increase of about 20 percent. Significantly higher sales were also recorded in Asia/Pacific and Latin America/Africa/Middle East, where sales moved ahead by 14.9 and 14.1 percent, respectively.

Group net income for the first nine months jumps to more than EUR 1.5 billion

The Bayer Chairman was also very satisfied with his company's performance in the first nine months as a whole. Sales for this period grew by 18.2 percent to 20,288 million (2004: EUR 17,167 million), while underlying EBIT rose by 56.2 percent to EUR 2,685 million (2004: EUR 1,719 million). After special items, EBIT climbed by 71.2 percent to EUR 2,620 million (2004: EUR 1,530 million). Net income for the first nine months rose by 151.4 percent to EUR 1,551 million (2004: EUR 617 million).

Positive outlook for the future

The Bayer CEO was optimistic about business trends in the future. "We expect the global economy to go on expanding despite the high price of oil," he explained. In the United States, Bayer anticipates further strong growth, and in Asia the economy appears to be back on a path of rapid growth following a slight dip. In Europe, said Wenning, growth is likely to be more restrained, while in Latin America the company assumes the current upward trend will continue. Bayer anticipates a considerable year-on-year increase in underlying EBIT in the fourth quarter.

Successful alignment toward innovation and growth

"The third-quarter figures show that the strategic realignment of the Bayer Group has sustainably improved our earning power," Wenning said in conclusion. "Our extensive cost-containment and efficiency-improvement measures have paid off." He said that in the third quarter the company had made good progress not only operationally, but also strategically.

With respect to innovation, Wenning reported on encouraging progress with the company's pharmaceutical pipeline. He expects the first half of 2006 to see the U.S. launch of Nexavar® to treat advanced kidney cancer. Phase II and III clinical studies are also currently under way in several other forms of cancer. Together with Johnson & Johnson, Bayer is driving the development of its oral antithrombosis drug, the Factor Xa inhibitor, for which it plans to launch phase III clinical trials in the coming weeks. The Pharmaceuticals Division also has 11 other projects in phase I and 16 more in preclinical development.

Bayer CropScience has already achieved sales of EUR 642 million in the first nine months of 2005 with 16 active ingredients brought to market since the year 2000. Including 10 other new active ingredients it intends to launch from next year onward, the company anticipates total sales potential from its CropScience pipeline of up to EUR 2 billion by 2011. Bayer MaterialScience already generates about 20 percent of its total sales with new products and applications introduced over the past five years.

Group-wide innovation initiative launched

Wenning emphasized that Bayer will spend nearly EUR 2 billion for research and development in 2005. "This is by far the highest budget of all German companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical sector," he said. Furthermore, the company has launched a Group-wide innovation initiative entitled ?Triple-i' - which stands for "inspiration, ideas and innovation." This long-term initiative is designed to encourage Bayer's employees to put forward creative ideas and suggestions that can be utilized for the company's benefit through a special innovation process put in place for this purpose. Emphasis will be placed on examining ideas and possibilities in areas beyond the current scope of Bayer's subgroups or at the interfaces between them.

" ?Triple-i' is intended to promote a culture of innovation at Bayer. In this context we will invest an additional amount of up to EUR 50 million in new research projects next year alone," Wenning announced. First to receive funding as part of this initiative will be a project aimed at manufacturing pharmaceutical active ingredients from plants. "I am convinced that this novel biotechnological approach has the potential to transform the industrial production of pharmaceuticals in the future," explained the Bayer CEO. He said this underscores Bayer's mission to be an inventor company that grows primarily through innovation.


Forward-looking statements<br/>
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our annual and interim reports to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and in our reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including our Form 20-F). The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.









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