Germany's chemicals and drug juggernaut Bayer Group says net profit in the first quarter shot up by 23 per cent, much higher than many analysts were expecting. Turnover was 2.8 per cent higher, totaling 10.6 billion euros.
The Leverkusen-based company, which makes Aspirin, cited brisk sales of drugs for contributing to the gains. Pharmaceuticals sales rose nearly 15 percent, driven by a suite of recently launched medications, including its Xarelto anticoagulant.
It reported gains for its Nexavar cancer product in all regions. Sales of Aspirin Cardio to prevent heart attacks jumped by 19 percent, due to growing demand in China.
On target for 2014
By contrast sales in the company's agriculture business was up five percent, and sales in its consumer health division were flat.
Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers said he was buoyant about developments for the coming months, and that the company was on target with its guidance for 2014.
Annual turnover is scheduled to jump by two percent this year to 41 billion euros.
kpc/ hg (dpa, Reuters, AFP, Bayer Group)