Bayer's first-quarter drug sales up 12.2 percent, led by Xarelto

Bayer announced Tuesday that first-quarter sales of prescription medicines jumped 12.2 percent year-over-year to 3.9 billion euros ($4.4 billion), which CEO Marijn Dekkers noted "was largely attributable to the continued strong development of the company's recently launched products." Overall revenue rose less than 1 percent to 11.9 billion euros ($13.4 billion), missing analyst estimates of 12.1 billion euros ($13.6 billion), while net income climbed 13.3 percent to 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), coming in just ahead of forecasts.

According to Bayer, Xarelto, Eylea, Stivarga, Xofigo and Adempas generated combined sales of 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in the three-month period. Revenue from Xarelto surged 31.5 percent on a constant currency basis, mainly due to volume increases in Europe and Japan, while in the US, where the product is marketed by Johnson & Johnson, Bayer said that business "also developed positively."

Dekkers, who will be replaced as chief executive at the end of this month by Werner Baumann, remarked "all segments posted gains in their operating performance," adding "we confirm our outlook for 2016." Bayer expects sales this year of approximately 35 billion euros ($39.5 billion) for its life science businesses, with earnings increasing by a mid-single-digit percentage.

Commenting on the results, DZ Bank analyst Peter Spengler said Bayer reported a "very good set of figures."

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