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07-31-2014

Bayer Continues Positive Business Development

Bayer Group's interim report was published on Wednesday. Although earnings growth was again held back by substantial negative currency effects, these were offset by the good business development. EBITDA before special items and core earnings per share were at the previous year's level. Management Board Chairman Dr. Marijn Dekkers confirmed the Bayer Group's forecast for the current year. Dekkers said Bayer made progress in the second quarter from a strategic point of view as well with the planned acquisition of the consumer care activities of U.S. company Merck & Co., Inc.

Second-quarter sales in the high-tech polymers business (MaterialScience), at EUR 2,864 million, were at the level of the prior-year period (Q2 2013: EUR 2,875 million). Adjusted for currency and portfolio effects, sales rose by 3.6%. "This growth was due to significantly higher volumes for Polycarbonates; Polyurethanes; and Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties," Dekkers explained. Higher volumes in North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific more than offset volume declines in Latin America/Africa/Middle East. Selling prices were below the prior-year period in all regions.

Sales of foam raw materials (Polyurethanes) grew by 3.0 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.), thanks to improved demand in all the main customer industries. Sales of the high-tech plastics business (Polycarbonates) rose by a substantial 8.3% (Fx & portfolio adj.), mainly in light of increased demand from customers in the automotive and electrical/electronics industries. Sales in the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties unit advanced by 3.7% (Fx & portfolio adj.), thanks to higher volumes in nearly all regions.

EBITDA before special items of MaterialScience came in just 1.5% below the prior-year quarter at EUR 270 million (Q2 2013: EUR 274 million). Earnings were helped by higher volumes, lower raw material prices and efficiency improvements. Negative factors were a drop in selling prices and costs for scheduled maintenance shutdowns in Asia and North America. Earnings were also held back by negative currency effects of around EUR 10 million or 3%.

MaterialScience continues to expect sales to increase in 2014 by a mid-single-digit percentage (Fx & portfolio adj.), allowing for negative currency effects of about 2% compared to 2013. This subgroup also continues to anticipate an increase in EBITDA before special items, allowing for negative currency effects of roughly EUR 30 million (previously: roughly EUR 50 million). In the third quarter of 2014, MaterialScience expects to raise sales and EBITDA before special items compared to the second quarter.

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