The Bayer Group made further strategic progress and posted strong earnings growth in the third quarter of 2015. “A few weeks ago we announced changes to our organizational structure. The new organization is aimed at supporting our strategy as a leading Life Science company and putting us in an even stronger position vis-à-vis our competitors,” Bayer Management Board Chairman Dr. Marijn Dekkers commented when the interim report was published on Thursday. He said the carve-out of MaterialScience had been completed and that business floated on the stock market under the name Covestro. Bayer currently still holds a 69 percent interest in Covestro AG, which is therefore still included in the Consolidated Financial Statements of Bayer as a fully consolidated company.

In the third quarter of 2015, Bayer increased sales on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis (Fx & portfolio adj.) and posted strong earnings growth of 28 percent. HealthCare benefited once again from the positive development of the recently launched pharmaceutical products and from expanded sales (Fx. and portfolio adj.) in all Consumer Health divisions. Earnings of HealthCare rose substantially. Despite a weaker market environment, sales at CropScience were up (Fx. and portfolio adj.) against the strong prior-year period. Earnings rose due to currency effects. Covestro significantly raised earnings again, due mainly to lower raw material costs, while sales receded as expected. “We are confirming our Group forecast for 2015,” said Dekkers.

Sales of the Bayer Group moved ahead by 10.7 (Fx & portfolio adj. 1.9) percent in the third quarter to EUR 11,036 million (Q3 2014: EUR 9,967 million). EBITDA before special items climbed by a substantial 27.6 percent to EUR 2,523 million (Q3 2014: EUR 1,977 million). The good sales development was accompanied by higher R&D and selling expenses. Positive currency effects buoyed earnings by about EUR 170 million. EBIT also rose by a substantial 16.3 percent to EUR 1,565 million (Q3 2014: EUR 1,346 million), reflecting special items of minus EUR 204 million (Q3 2014: plus EUR 45 million). These mainly comprised charges in connection with the carve-out and stock market flotation of Covestro and costs for the integration of acquired businesses. Net income advanced by 20.9 percent to EUR 999 million (Q3 2014: EUR 826 million), and core earnings per share for continuing operations by 28.0 percent to EUR 1.69 (Q3 2014: EUR 1.32).

Gross cash flow from continuing operations declined by 2.7 percent to EUR 1,427 million (Q3 2014: EUR 1,466 million). The increase in earnings was partly offset by additional tax expenses connected with the carve-out of Covestro. Net cash flow (total) rose by 28.3 percent to EUR 2,330 million (Q3 2014: EUR 1,816 million), due mostly to a decrease in cash tied up in other working capital. Net financial debt fell from EUR 21.1 billion on June 30, 2015, to EUR 19.3 billion on September 30, 2015 – mainly as a result of cash inflows from operating activities.

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