Third quarter below prior year as expected – Group outlook confirmed
Group sales of 10.342 billion euros (Fx & portfolio adj. minus 0.2 percent) / EBITDA before special items: 1.685 billion euros (minus 31.3 percent) / Sales stable at Crop Science and Pharmaceuticals and up slightly at Consumer Health (Fx & portfolio adj.) / Earnings lower at all divisions, especially Crop Science / Core earnings per share at 0.38 euros (minus 66.4 percent) / Net income at minus 4.569 billion euros, impacted by impairment losses at Crop Science due to interest rates / Free cash flow at 1.626 billion euros / CEO Anderson: “We are redesigning Bayer to focus only on what’s essential for our mission, ‘Health for all, hunger for none’” / Structural options remain under review
Leverkusen, November 8, 2023 – Bayer has confirmed its Group outlook for 2023 after posting third-quarter figures that were down against the previous year. “The results came in largely as we expected, knowing that Q3 is never our strongest quarter. The important message is that, based on where we are and what we see for the remaining quarter, we are confirming the updated 2023 guidance,” CEO Bill Anderson said on Wednesday when presenting the company’s Quarterly Statement. “We know that this requires a strong fourth quarter. We’re fully focused on delivering exactly that – and the team is confident in our outlook.”
“We’re not happy with this year’s performance. Nearly 50 billion euros in revenue but zero cash flow is simply not acceptable,” stated Anderson, who has been at the helm of the company since June. He intends to focus everything on Bayer’s mission of “Health for all, hunger for none,” and on driving innovation and strengthening financial performance. “Our mission hasn’t always been front and center in our operations. That will change. We are redesigning Bayer to focus only on what’s essential for our mission – and getting rid of everything else.” By the end of next year, Bayer will remove multiple layers of management and coordination, he said. “This step will unleash our teams with the mission-focus necessary to turn things around. 95 percent of the decision-making in the organization will shift from managers to the people doing the work.” Even though this will include a significant reduction in the workforce, it is not a traditional cost-cutting program, Anderson said. In addition, a new Board of Management compensation system will be proposed at the next Annual Stockholders’ Meeting, he said, noting that it will be more closely aligned with the long-term development of the company’s share price.
“We are looking closely at our structural options. We have an expert team – including external financial advisors – evaluating them. They’re reviewing market conditions, what structural changes would mean for our value creation, one-time costs and dis-synergies, cash flows and leverage ratios, tax leakage, and other criteria,” Anderson explained. In terms of structural options, beyond maintaining three divisions, a separation of either Consumer Health or Crop Science remains under evaluation. “We have also taken some options out of consideration. For example, we considered simultaneously splitting the company into three businesses. We’re ruling that option out. A three-way split would require a two-step process.” The company will share further details in March at its Capital Markets Day together with the publication of the Annual Report and the 2024 guidance. Based on current market dynamics and first assumptions, Bayer expects a soft growth outlook and continued challenges to the company’s profitability for next year.
Group sales remain stable (Fx & portfolio adj.)
Group sales came in at 10.342 billion euros in the third quarter, and were therefore in line with the prior-year period on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis (Fx & portfolio adj. minus 0.2 percent). There was a negative currency effect of 742 million euros (Q3 2022: positive currency effect of 940 million euros). EBITDA before special items decreased by 31.3 percent to 1.685 billion euros, mainly due to the decline in earnings at the Crop Science Division. There was also a negative currency effect of 31 million euros (Q3 2022: 78 million euros). EBIT came in at minus 3.594 billion euros (Q3 2022: 1.199 billion euros). This figure included net special charges of 4.303 billion euros (Q3 2022: 153 million euros) that mainly related to non-cash impairment losses in the Crop Science Division due to interest rates. Net income amounted to minus 4.569 billion euros (Q3 2022: plus 546 million euros), while core earnings per share decreased by 66.4 percent to 0.38 euros.
Free cash flow declined by 6.4 percent to 1.626 billion euros. Net financial debt as of September 30 came in at 38.721 billion euros, down 2.3 percent from the end of June 2023, mainly as a result of cash inflows from operating activities.
Crop Science sales at prior-year level (Fx & portfolio adj.) thanks to higher volumes
Sales in the agricultural business (Crop Science) were level year on year at 4.365 billion euros (Fx & portfolio adj. plus 0.6 percent). Higher volumes in all regions were mostly offset by lower prices for glyphosate-based products following an exceptionally strong prior year. Sales at Corn Seed & Traits rose by 21.2 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.) thanks to price increases in all regions. Business at Fungicides was up 16.2 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.), mainly due to higher volumes in Latin America. The Soybean Seed & Traits business likewise posted double-digit percentage growth of 15.6 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.), primarily driven by higher license revenues in Latin America. By contrast, sales at Herbicides were down by 17.3 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.), with substantial price declines outweighing higher volumes in all regions.
EBITDA before special items at Crop Science declined to minus 24 million euros (Q3 2022: plus 629 million euros), mostly due to lower prices for glyphosate-based products. Earnings were also diminished by a mainly inflation-related increase in the cost of goods sold. By contrast, there was a positive currency effect of 121 million euros (Q3 2022: negative currency effect of 93 million euros). The EBITDA margin before special items declined by 13.9 percentage points to minus 0.5 percent.
Pharmaceuticals benefits from success of new products, business down in China
Sales of prescription medicines (Pharmaceuticals) were level year on year at 4.538 billion euros (Fx & portfolio adj. minus 0.3 percent). The division’s new products achieved significant growth: Sales of the cancer drug Nubeqa™ nearly doubled (Fx & portfolio adj.), while Kerendia™ for the treatment of chronic kidney disease associated with type 2 diabetes saw business expand by an even greater percentage. In addition, the Radiology business continued to post substantial gains, especially for the CT Fluid Delivery and Ultravist™ product families. Business with the ophthalmology drug Eylea™ expanded by 5.4 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.) thanks to higher volumes, particularly in Canada and Asia/Pacific. Sales of the oral anticoagulant Xarelto™ were stable. Declines due to competitive and pricing pressure from generics, especially in China and the United Kingdom, were primarily offset by higher volumes in Europe. The Pharmaceuticals Division recorded a significant drop in sales in China overall, partly due to tender procedures for Adalat™. On a global level, sales of the cardiovascular drug decreased by 44.1 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.). In addition, China’s anti-corruption campaign in the healthcare sector indirectly had a negative impact on demand.
EBITDA before special items at Pharmaceuticals fell by 8.6 percent to 1.438 billion euros compared to a strong prior-year quarter. This was primarily due to an unfavorable product mix and higher investments in cell and gene therapy and chemoproteomics technologies, as well as projects in advanced clinical development. The prior-year period had also benefited from higher proceeds from the sale of non-core businesses. By contrast, lower costs for marketing activities had a positive impact. There was a negative currency effect of 47 million euros (Q3 2022: positive currency effect of 13 million euros). The EBITDA margin before special items was level year on year at 31.7 percent.
Consumer Health grows business (Fx & portfolio adj.)
Sales of self-care products (Consumer Health) increased by 1.7 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.) to 1.410 billion euros against a competitive third quarter last year (Fx & portfolio adj. plus 4.4 percent). Distinctive market dynamics were seen across all regions. Substantial gains (Fx & portfolio adj.) were recorded in Europe/Middle East/Africa and Latin America, while North America experienced softer sales performance. The division’s Dermatology business performed very strongly, with growth of 8.5 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.). Sales in this category were up across all regions, driven primarily by Bepanthen™ and Canesten™. The Pain & Cardio category also reported growth, with sales rising by 4.4 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.). Allergy & Cold declined slightly amid a soft allergy season, with sales falling by 2.6 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.).
EBITDA before special items at Consumer Health decreased by 6.8 percent to 313 million euros, mainly due to a negative currency effect of 57 million euros (Q3 2022: positive currency effect of 28 million euros). The division was able to offset a decline in volumes and inflation-driven rise in costs thanks to its continuous cost and price management efforts. The EBITDA margin before special items rose by 0.5 percentage points to 22.2 percent.
The following tables contain the key data for the Bayer Group and its divisions for the third quarter and first nine months of 2023.
The full quarterly statement for the third quarter is available online at: www.bayer.com/quarterly-statement
The speech given by Bill Anderson and Wolfgang Nickl to the media will be available online from around 10 a.m. CET at: www.bayer.com/speeches
Live broadcast of the media update from around 10 a.m. CET and recording available from around 2 p.m. CET at: www.bayer.com/live-mc
Additional information for investors and access – from around 2 p.m. CET – to the live broadcast of the investor conference call at: www.bayer.com/live-ic
Print-quality photos can be found online at: www.bayer.com/photo-footage
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.