Bayer aims for 8 percent annual growth in drug sales through 2016

Bayer said Wednesday that it is targeting annual growth of 8 percent from sales of pharmaceuticals through 2016, boosted by recently launched products. "I'm particularly confident about our healthcare business thanks to the encouraging development of the five pharmaceutical products we have recently launched," remarked CEO Marijn Dekkers.

Last month, the company predicted that combined peak sales from the five drugs, which include Xarelto, Eylea, Stivarga, Xofigo and Adempas, will reach at least 7.5 billion euros ($10.4 billion), up from an earlier estimate of more than 5.5 billion euros ($7.6 billion). Bayer added Wednesday that revenue from the five products is predicted to reach 2.8 billion euros ($3.9 billion) this year, up from 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in 2013.

According to the company, sales from its healthcare unit will rise by an average of 6 percent a year through 2016, including annual growth of 3 percent from the consumer health division. Bayer noted that sales in the consumer health unit will mainly be driven by non-prescription medicines and animal health products. "Our goal remains to become the world leader in the OTC business," Dekkers commented, adding that the company currently occupies the global number two position in this market.

Last year, sales in Bayer's healthcare division rose 7 percent, with pharmaceutical revenue growing 9 percent and consumer health sales increasing 3 percent.

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