FRANKFURT, July 29 (Reuters) – Bayer’s (BAYGn.DE) quarterly earnings fell short of market expectations because generic competition for its two best-selling drugs overshadowed a rebound at its plastics unit.
In the second quarter, group underlying profit — or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) before special items — rose 8.6 percent to 1.92 billion euros, Germany’s largest drugmaker, said on Thursday.
Analysts had expected adjusted EBITDA, which serves as the group’s main gauge of success, to rise to 1.98 billion. [ID:nLDE66P093] Quarterly net income of 525 million euros at the maker of cancer drugs, weed killers and car coatings also missed the 768 million estimated by analysts.
Generic-drug industry leader Teva (TEVA.TA) has brought a copycat version of Bayer’s YAZ birth-control pill to U.S. markets earlier than expected, while a generic version by Novartis (NOVN.VX) is chipping away at sales of blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Betaferon. [ID:nLDE6501SV] [ID:nN29138356]
Bayer, the inventor of Aspirin and synthetic rubber, is meanwhile pinning its hope on potential blockbuster Xarelto, an experimental blood thinner for stroke prevention for which crucial test results are expected this year.
The group reiterated it expected 2010 core adjusted operating profit above 7 billion euros ($9.1 billion) as a rosier outlook for its plastics and foams unit MaterialScience offset expected weakness in drugs and crop chemicals sales.
The group’s CropScience division, one of the world’s largest makers of conventional pesticides, was hit by an unusually cold winter, followed by a hot and dry summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger)