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Bayer beats estimates as demand for latest drugs stays buoyant

[BERLIN] Bayer AG reported first-quarter profit that rose, beating analysts' expectations, as top-selling drugs Xarelto and Eylea continued to soar.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and excluding some costs, climbed 16 per cent to 3.40 billion euros (S$5.2 billion), the Leverkusen, Germany-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. That beat the 3.10 billion-euro average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales fell short of expectations.

Bayer's strategy head Werner Baumann will take the reins of Germany's largest company at the end of this month, succeeding CEO Marijn Dekkers. He's poised to inherit a company that Mr Dekkers has reshaped through the acquisition of Merck & Co's over-the-counter medicines business in 2014 and by divesting a stake in Bayer's plastics unit, Covestro AG, through an initial public offering last year.

BLOOMBERG