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NAPSR News: Bayer Reports a Very Successful Start to 2014
Gross cash flow in the first quarter of 2014 rose by 13.3% to EUR 2,048 million due to the improvement in EBITDA. Net cash flow, however, declined to $226.7 million because more cash was tied up in working capital. Net financial debt rose from $9.3 billion on December 31, 2013, to $12.66 billion on March 31, 2014. This increase was driven by the acquisition of Algeta ASA, Norway.
HealthCare: recently launched pharmaceutical products post sales of some $834.68 million.
Sales of the HealthCare subgroup rose by 2.9% in the first quarter to $6.36 million. "This growth was driven by the pharmaceutical products we have launched recently," said Dekkers. Sales showed above-average development in the Emerging Markets.
The Pharmaceuticals business recorded strong growth compared to a weaker prior-year quarter, with sales rising by 14.9% to EUR $3.87 million. This excellent performance was driven by the recently launched medicines Xarelto™, Eylea™, Stivarga™, Xofigo™ and Adempas™, which registered combined sales of $831.9 million led by the anticoagulant Xarelto™, which is Bayer's best-selling pharmaceutical product. The eye medicine Eylea™ posted strong gains, and business with the cancer drugs Stivarga™ and Xofigo™ developed well. The pulmonary hypertension treatment Adempas™, launched in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2013, also contributed to the growth in sales.
Among the established best-selling products, the cancer drug Nexavar™ recorded sales gains in all regions, with currency-adjusted growth of 13.6%. Sales of Aspirin™ Cardio for preventing heart attacks rose by 19.2%, largely thanks to increased demand in China. The decline in sales of the blood-clotting medicine Kogenate™ was partly explained by the high sales level of the prior-year quarter. Sales of the multiple sclerosis drug Betaferon™/Betaseron™
Sales of the Consumer Health segment in the first quarter of 2014, at $2.5 million, were flat with the prior-year period on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis. In Consumer Care, the skincare product Bepanthen™/Bepanthol™
Despite significant negative currency effects of some $180.84 million or approximately 11%, EBITDA before special items of HealthCare rose by 1.9% to $1.81 million. The improvement was due to the very good business development at Pharmaceuticals, while earnings at Consumer Health declined slightly. Earnings were also held back by higher selling expenses and research and development costs.
"Our Life Science businesses continued their dynamic development and achieved slight earnings increases despite significant negative currency effects," Bayer CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers said on Monday when the interim report was published. HealthCare experienced strong growth thanks to the gratifying development in sales of the recently launched pharmaceutical products. CropScience benefited from an early start to the season in Europe. MaterialScience, in particular, raised earnings substantially. "We are confident about our business development for the rest of the year and confirm our guidance for 2014," said Dekkers.
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