May 3, 2018 / 9:03 AM / 22 days ago

Bayer cuts full-year earnings guidance on strong euro

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer said the pressure from a stronger euro on overseas revenues would translate into a decline in earnings this year, as it prepares to close its $62.5 billion takeover of U.S. seeds maker Monsanto this quarter.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), adjusted for one-offs, are now set to decline by a low single-digit percentage rather than coming in flat as previously forecast, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Sales at the German drug and crop chemicals maker will likely decline by a low single-digit percentage to less than 35 billion euros ($42 billion) this year, Bayer said, having previously predicted sales of about 35 billion euros.

The average value of the euro against the dollar during the first quarter was about 14 percent above a year earlier, which has hurt euro zone exporters.

Bayer’s adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter slipped 5 percent to 2.90 billion euros, hurt by a drop in sales of consumer care products. That was slightly higher than the average forecast by analysts of 2.83 billion euros.

The company’s consumer health unit posted a drop in adjusted EBITDA of more than 20 percent to 313 million euros, hurt by supply disruptions in the wake of a rebuke by U.S. regulators, and as Chinese authorities reclassified two skin care brands as prescription drugs.

Bayer reiterated its goal to close the Monsanto transaction, signed in September 2016, in the second quarter of this year.

Bayer has agreed to sell businesses worth a combined 7.6 billion euros to BASF to get the deal through antitrust reviews.

It is set to win U.S. approval by the end of May, two people familiar with the matter said last week. Jurisdictions that have already given their conditional approval include Russia, the European Union and Brazil.

($1 = 0.8343 euros)

FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of Bayer is seen at the headquarters building in Caracas, Venezuela March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Edward Taylor and Mark Potter

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