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Bayer Group Turns To Profit In Q4

Bayer Group (BAYZF.PK,BAYRY.PK,BYR.L) reported that its fourth-quarter net income was 1.41 billion euros, compared to a loss of 3.92 billion euros in the prior year.

Core earnings per share was 1.29 euros up from 1.05 euros in the previous year.

Quarterly sales grew to 10.75 billion euros from 10.36 billion euros in the prior year.

Net income for its fiscal year 2019 advanced by 141.4 percent to 4.091 billion euros from last year. The 2019 results included the gain from the sale of Bayer's stake in the Currenta Group (1.637 billion euros). Core earnings per share from continuing operations rose by 14.3 percent to 6.40 euros.

Annual EBITDA before special items rose by 28.3 percent to 11.503 billion euros. It was diminished by negative currency effects of 43 million euros.

Group sales for fiscal year 2019 increased by 3.5 percent on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis to 43.545 billion euros last year. On a reported basis, sales were up by 18.5 percent.

The company said its Management and Superivsory Boards will propose to the Annual Stockholders' Meeting on April 28, 2020, a dividend payment for fiscal 2019 of 2.80 euros per share, same with the prior year.

Bayer said as of February 6, 2020, lawsuits from about 48,600 plaintiffs had been served in the United States in connection with the crop protection product glyphosate. The company believes that the verdicts in the first three cases that went to trial are not supported by the evidence at trial and the law and therefore is pursuing the appeals vigorously.

For 2020, Bayer expects currency-adjusted sales from continuing operations to be in the range of around 44 billion to 45 billion euros, representing an increase of about 3 to 4 percent on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis.

Bayer aims to raise annual EBITDA margin before special items to around 28 percent after adjusting for currency effects. EBITDA before special items is seen rising to between 12.3 billion and 12.6 billion euros on a currency-adjusted basis.

Annual core earnings per share are expected to increase to between 7.00 and 7.20 euros on a currency-adjusted basis.

The outlook is based on the assumption that the Animal Health business will transfer to the acquirer effective July 1, 2020, and that the purchase price will be received on that date in cash and Elanco shares as agreed.

The company said the forecast does not yet include an estimate of the potential impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

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