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Sale Rise For German Chemical Giant Bayer Last Year Despite Weed Killer Woes

Sale Rise For German Chemical Giant Bayer Last Year Despite Weed Killer Woes
Despite the legal battles over its weed killing pesticide and the resultant financial fall out of the issue right throughout 2019, Bayer AG reported a 3.5 per cent year on year growth for its adjusted group sales for the fiscal year 2019 at 43.5 billion euros or $47.6 billion.  
Announcing this result, the German chemical and pharmaceutical behemoth also reported a 28.3 per cent year on year growth in its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) before special items at 11.5 billion euros,
"We achieved our financial targets despite coming up against a challenging market environment in the agriculture sector in particular," said Werner Baumann, chairman of the board of management at Bayer.
An increase of 80.9 per cent in EBITDA before special items at to 4.8 billion euros against sales at 19.8 billion euros was reported by Bayer for its agricultural business Crop Science which include the sale of its United States based agricultural subsidiary Monsanto which was acquired by Bayer in 2018.
The company noted that better performance for its insecticides and fungicides business was the driver of the growth in sales for its agricultural business.
However, a decline in the sale revenues of soybean seeds and traits was also reported by Bayer for last year "particularly in North America, where business was held back by a decrease in acreages, strong competition, the weather conditions and ongoing uncertainties due to trade conflicts," the company said.
Bayer also announced that it had served for lawsuits from approximately 48,600 plaintiffs in the United States in relation to its weed killing pesticide glyphosate. These lawsuits started to be filed by long time users of the product in the United States soon after the acquisition of Monsanto , alleging that the glyphosate-based crop protection products that were prepared and sold for years by Monsanto was responsible for cancer in its users. Who were exposed to it for a long period. 

Bayer stressed that it would continues with the court-ordered mediation proceedings. The mediation process aims to determine whether both the parties are able to come to a settlement on "reasonable terms that is structured in a way that will bring this entire series of litigation to a reasonable conclusion," the company said.
Bayer said that the proposed dividend payment in 2019 would amount to 2.8 billion euros with around 982 million shares entitled to a dividend. According to Bayerthe total dividend payment was slightly lower at 2.6 billion euros in the fiscal year 2018.
Bayer expects that its adjusted sales will rise in the current year by about 3 to 4  per cent to be around 44 billion to 45 billion euros. 

Christopher J. Mitchell

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