Bayer issues muted 2011 outlook on generic rivals

LEVERKUSEN, Germany Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:42am EST

LEVERKUSEN, Germany Feb 28 (Reuters) - Germany's largest drugmaker, Bayer (BAYGn.DE), issued two-year targets for adjusted core earnings that fell slightly short of analysts expectations as generic competition weighs on its best-selling pharmaceuticals.

The group said on Monday it expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to rise "toward" 7.5 billion euros ($10.32 billion) this year and to reach about 8 billion euros in 2012.

Analysts had factored in figures of 7.8 billion and 8.5 billion for 2011 and 2012, respectively. [ID:nLDE71M0W3]

Growth this year will likely driven by a recovery from pesticides and chemicals, while a boost from a new drug will not kick in before next year.

The drugs to chemicals group is pinning hopes on its anti-blood-clotting pill Xarelto which in November was shown to have mass-market potential in a late-stage trial. [ID:nN15246556]

Bayer reiterated on Monday it expects more than 2 billion euros in annual sales from the drug.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger)