Bayer's first half results11 September 2002
'2002 is a year of transition in which we are creating the basis for future growth in the Bayer Group', said Werner Wenning, chairman of the board of management of Bayer AG, when the first-half figures were released on August 1. 'Our priorities are the reorganisation of the Bayer Group, the rapid integration of Aventis CropScience and improving the basis for our Health Care activities.' According to Wenning, Bayer will systematically press ahead with the implementation of the cost structure programmes announced last year which are intended to save a further €0.5 billion this year. 'In the interests of our stockholders, customers and employees, we must ensure that our company returns to a path of sustained growth next year,' In the first half of 2002, the continuing difficult business environment and the gap in sales resulting from the market withdrawal in August 2001 of Bayer's cholesterol-lowering drug Lipobay/Baycol had a strong adverse effect on the company's performance. Sales from continuing operations - without the activities the company plan to sell - declined by 7% to €14.3 billion. The operating result before exceptional items dropped by 44% to €800 million, also due mainly to the Lipobay/Baycol withdrawal. After exceptional items, operating results dropped by 20% to e1 billion. Net income, including a tax-free gain on the sale of Bayer's remaining 30% interest in Agfa, was down 19% year-on-year to €800 million. With regard to the overall outlook for 2002, the Bayer ceo said: 'We do not see any indication of a tangible recovery this year.' Despite the negative economic forecast, he anticipates that net income will be up over the previous year in light of the divestment proceeds already realised and those still expected.