Berlin (awp/afp) – Chemical giant Bayer suffered a net loss in the second quarter, due to provisions intended to deal with an environmental pollution case in the United States, despite good results and an increase in its annual forecast.
The company reported a net loss of 298 million euros (just over 290 million Swiss francs), after a loss of 2.3 billion euros last year in the same period, a she said in a statement.
The group is doing less well than expected by financial analysts Factset, who expected a profit of 1.6 billion euros.
This setback is linked to the establishment of 694 million euros in provisions by the group to deal with legal risks in the United States related to PCBs, a product long marketed by Monsanto.
The company is the subject of several complaints from American regional authorities, such as the State of Oregon or the city of Los Angeles, which accuse this chemical of water pollution.
On the operating side, the group had a very good quarter, with a profit (Ebitda) climbing 30% over one year, to 3.3 billion euros.
The agrochemicals subsidiary, which is benefiting from sharp increases in the prices of fungicides and herbicides, experienced a 71.8% increase in its operating profit, to 1.7 billion euros.
The pharmaceuticals division saw its operating profit increase by 4.9% year on year to 1.47 billion euros, while the self-medication subsidiary climbed by 18.7%.
Bayer raised its annual forecast to a level “between 47 and 48 billion euros” for turnover, an “increase of 8%”, against 46 billion previously.
He also expects an operating margin “between 26 and 26%”, against 26% earlier.
Bayer also believes that it is “technically ready to significantly reduce (its) dependence on natural gas by switching to alternative and renewable energy sources”.
A reverse position of a large part of the German chemical industry, which is currently sounding the alarm about the risk of cuts in Russian gas deliveries to the country, due to the conflict in Ukraine.
The VCI sector lobby recently feared the risk of an “economic heart attack” in such a scenario, while deliveries have already fallen by 80% to Germany.