Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated
Bayer noted that sales in the pharmaceuticals unit were down "mainly due to volume-based procurement policy in China and COVID-19," while revenue in the consumer health division declined slightly after strong demand in the first quarter. The company explained that "the contact restrictions and protective measures introduced worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a drop in elective treatments in doctors' offices and hospitals, with some treatments being postponed," particularly affecting women's health, ophthalmology and radiology products." However, Bayer said that there was "a slight recovery trend toward the end of the second quarter."
Meanwhile, the company noted that it swung to a loss in the quarter as it set aside provisions for settlements related to its glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide, which are still expected to cost up to $10.9 billion.
Bayer now expects sales this year of between €43 billion ($50.5 billion) and €44 billion ($51.7 billion), with both ends of the guidance lowered by €1 billion ($1.2 billion) from an earlier estimate. Meanwhile, earnings are now forecast to be around €12.1 billion ($14.2 billion), down from a previous range of €12.3 billion ($14.4 billion) to €12.6 billion ($14.8 billion), with core earnings per share of between €6.70 ($7.87) and €6.90 ($8.10), with both ends of the guidance cut by €0.30 ($0.35) from a prior prediction.
The company explained that the revised guidance is based on the business development in the first half of the year, adding that "the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remains difficult to predict." Bayer said that it anticipates that business at pharmaceuticals and consumer health will "normalise overall, although the growth originally envisaged for pharmaceuticals is not expected to be achieved."
The outlook is lower than most analysts had expected, suggested Baader Bank analyst Markus Mayer.
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