Low Profitability

Bayer’s Growing Pains

Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers Feb 2014 Source DPA 41986910
Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Bayer, Germany’s largest drugs makers, needs to improve profitability to catch up with rivals such as Novartis, Merck & Co. and Johnson & Johnson.

  • Facts


    Adjusted operating profit, excluding special items, only rose by 3 percent to €5.9 billion last year.

    Bayer’s healthcare operations overall and its pharmaceutical division specifically have an operating margin 4 to 5 percentage points below that of rivals.

    Due to takeovers net financial debt tripled to €19.6 billion in 2014.

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Bayer can claim the title of the most valuable German industrial corporation since August of last year.

The chemical and pharmaceutical giant won an additional €9 billion, or $9.8 billion, in market capitalization in 2014, and another €20 billion since the beginning of 2015. Currently, it is worth about €114 billion.

The company’s shareholders have little reason to complain when they meet on Wednesday at the Bayer annual general meeting. It appears as if the Bayer chief executive, Marijn Dekkers, is doing almost everything right, from the research and marketing strategy in the pharmaceutical business up to the planned spin-off of the plastics division, Bayer Material Science.

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