Bayer posts 4.9-percent rise in second-quarter sales of prescription drugs

Bayer announced Thursday that second-quarter sales of prescription medicines increased 4.9 percent year-over-year to 4.3 billion euros ($5 billion), boosted by the performance of products including Eylea and Xarelto. The company's overall revenue rose 3 percent to 12.2 billion euros ($14.2 billion), as net income declined 11.3 percent to 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion), missing expectations of 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion).

CEO Werner Baumann said "we generated an encouraging increase in earnings and margins at pharmaceuticals," adding "we once again benefited from the strong performance of our key growth products."

Bayer noted that combined sales of Adempas, Eylea, Stivarga, Xarelto and Xofigo totalled 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion), up from 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in the year-ago period. Bayer previously forecast peak sales of more than 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) for the products.

Specifically, Bayer stated that sales of Xarelto climbed 18.6 percent to 834 million euros ($973 million). Johnson & Johnson revealed earlier this month that US sales of Xarelto jumped 8.1 percent year-over-year to $642 million.

Regarding other products, Bayer said that revenue from Xofigo surged 29.6 percent year-over-year to 105 million euros ($123 million) due to its launch in Japan, as well as increased sales in the US and EU. Additionally, sales of Stivarga rose by 23.9 percent to 83 million euros ($97 million), buoyed by its recent US approval as a second-line treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma. Moreover, revenue from Adempas increased by 19 percent to 75 million euros ($88 million) on continued positive performance in the US.

For the full year, the company indicated that "despite negative currency development," it is reaffirming its prior forecast for pharmaceuticals, with sales predicted to reach more than 17 billion euros ($19.9 billion), corresponding to a mid-single-digit percentage increase. However, Bayer said that overall sales in 2017 will increase to more than 49 billion euros ($57.2 billion), revised down from an earlier estimate of around 51 billion euros ($59.6 billion). Meanwhile, core earnings per share are expected to grow by a low- to mid-single-digit percentage, cut from a previous range of a mid- to high-single-digit percentage.

The change in Bayer's full-year earnings forecast comes after the drugmaker issued a profit warning last month, specifically noting that weaker sales in non-pharmaceutical sectors could depress revenue by at least 300 million euros ($350 million).

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