FRANKFURT, April 27 (Reuters) - German drugs and pesticides maker Bayer, which is seeking to to complete its $66 billion takeover U.S. seeds giant Monsanto, received another boost to quarterly earnings from its best-selling stroke-prevention pill Xarelto.
In the first quarter, adjusted group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 15 percent to 3.9 billion euros ($4.2 billion), above the average estimate of 3.6 billion euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Sales of Xarelto climbed by almost 20 percent, when adjusted for currency swings, driven by higher prescription numbers in Europe and Japan, Bayer said on Thursday.
Bayer said it now expected group EBITDA before special items to improve by a "low-teens percentage", up from a mid-single-digit percentage gain seen previously, pointing to a brighter outlook for its plastics and chemicals subsidiary Covestro, which reported earnings on Tuesday. ($1 = 0.9173 euros) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)