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Business

Bayer Posts Record Loss

German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer reported the biggest billion-dollar loss in its 140-year history on Thursday. One of Germany's best-known pharmaceutical companies and the maker of the painkiller Aspirin, Bayer turned in a net loss of €1.36 billion ($1.7 billion) in 2003, compared with a profit of €1.06 billion a year earlier. Bayer chairman Werner Wenning blamed valuation adjustments and restructuring costs for a loss of €1.4 billion. Earnings at operating level also fell with Bayer turning in losses before interest and tax of €1.203 billion compared with a profit of €1.61 billion a year earlier. Wenning said he was "mutedly optimistic" for the current year and added "in future we will concentrate on the three areas of health, nutrition and high-quality materials."