October 30, 2014 / 7:08 AM / 3 years ago

Bayer Q3 adj profit gains slightly on strong crop chemicals

FRANKFURT, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Germany’s largest drugmaker Bayer said underlying core earnings advanced by 1.4 percent, slightly surpassing expectations, on strong sales at its pesticides unit.

Bayer said on Thursday third-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at 2.01 billion euros ($2.53 billion), edging past the average estimate of 1.96 billion euros in a Reuters poll.

Adjusted core earnings at the CropScience unit rose more than a quarter to 278 million euros, shored up by growth in recently launched products, in particular fungicides and herbicides.

Bayer now aims to raise group EBITDA before special items by a mid-single-digit percentage, taking into account the acquisition of Merck & Co. Inc.’s consumer health business it wrapped up on Oct. 1 as well as more favourable currency effects.

It had previously forecast a low- to mid-single-digit percentage gain.

The stock has advanced 8.2 percent over the past three months, outperforming the STOXX Europe 600 Health Care index’s 2.6 percent increase, as investors welcomed the company’s plan to split off and separately list its plastics division.

$1 = 0.7460 Euros 1 US dollar = 0.7940 euro Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Kirsti Knolle

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