In the agricultural business (Crop Science), Bayer registered sales of 3.733 billion euros. Approximately 2.2 billion euros of this figure related to the acquired business. In addition, the businesses divested to BASF contributed approximately 100 million euros prior to the closing of the respective transactions in August. Sales were down 9.5 percent on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis due to the accounting measures taken in Brazil in the prior year, which had a positive effect on sales in the third quarter of 2017 due to the reversal of provisions. The division also recorded lower volumes in the Europe/Middle East/Africa region. On a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis, sales advanced year on year in North America.
On a pro-forma basis, Crop Science increased sales by 1.4 percent (Fx adj.), in part due to significant growth at Corn Seed & Traits and Soybean Seed & Traits. At Herbicides, pro-forma sales were higher as a result of higher prices and volumes in the Latin America and North America regions. As for Fungicides and Insecticides, pro-forma sales were down due to the effects in Brazil in the prior year and the dry weather in Europe.
EBITDA before special items of Crop Science climbed by 25.7 percent to 386 million euros. “This increase is largely attributable to the 255 million euros in earnings contributed by the newly acquired business,” Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Management, said. Negative factors that impacted earnings included the accounting measures taken in Brazil in the previous year, lower volumes in Europe, higher other operating income in the prior-year quarter, the prorated third-quarter 2017 earnings contributions from the businesses divested to BASF, and a negative currency effect of 59 million euros (excluding the acquired business).
In connection with the crop protection product glyphosate, lawsuits from approximately 9,300 plaintiffs have been served in the United States as of October 30. “We continue to believe that we have meritorious defenses and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in all of these lawsuits,” underlined Baumann. Speaking about the Johnson case, he said that the verdict is a single judgment by a court of first instance and is not binding for the other proceedings. Bayer considers the decision to be incorrect and will therefore file an appeal with the California Court of Appeal. "Glyphosate is safe for use when used according to label instructions, as confirmed by more than 800 scientific studies, decades of practical experience with glyphosate and the assessments of regulatory authorities in over 160 countries", the company states.