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Bayer makes $1.2bn bid for Schiff Nutrition, reports Q3

Boosts consumer health division as group sales climb 11.5 per cent

Bayer has agreed a deal to buy US company Schiff Nutrition International for $1.2bn in a deal that boosts its consumer health division with a portfolio of vitamin and dietary supplement products.

The German company group announced the $34-per-share offer for Schiff on the same day it reported a healthy 11.5 per cent increase in third-quarter sales to €9.67bn thanks to strong performances by its healthcare and crop science units.

Schiff is best known for nutritional supplement brands such as MegaRed, Move Free and Airborne, with sales of around €200m a year, and is a "strategic, bolt-on acquisition" that enhances Bayer's market share in the US, said chief executive Marijn Dekkers.

Bayer's consumer health division posted third-quarter sales of €1.99bn, up 11.5 per cent, with gains for its animal health, over-the-counter medicines and medical care products.

Meanwhile, the pharma division posted third-quarter revenues of €2.73bn, up 13 per cent, driven by anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban), contraceptive device Mirena and older drugs such as diabetes treatment Glucobay (metformin) in emerging markets.

Xarelto was the star of the show, with sales four-fold higher than a year ago at €81m, while haemophilia drug Kogenate (recombinant factor VIII) leapfrogged multiple sclerosis treatment Betaferon/Betaseron (interferon beta-1b) to become Bayer's biggest-selling product with sales of €300m, up 17 per cent.

Cancer drug Nexavar (sorafenib) rose 12 per cent to €199m while Mirena was up by a third to €183m, said Bayer. There were also double-digit sales gains for Glucobay, Aspirin Cardio and antibiotic Avalox/Avelox (moxifloxacin) thanks to growing demand in China.

Meanwhile, sales at Bayer's crop science unit increased 19 per cent to €1.64bn while material science revenues came in at €2.99bn, up 8 per cent.

Net income fell almost 18 per cent to €528m as Bayer took €356m in charges in the quarter, of which €205m was settlement provision for claims of venous blood clots caused by its Yasmin/Yaz range of oral contraceptives and €134m came from the firm's ongoing cost-reduction programme.

"We confirm the sales and earnings forecast for 2012 that we raised in July," said Dekkers.

Bayer is expecting sales to increase by 4 to 5 per cent for the full year, which would result in group sales of €39-€40bn.

30th October 2012

From: Sales

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