Bayer eyes higher dividend: CFO in paper

FRANKFURT Sat Aug 4, 2012 9:26am EDT

Bayer CFO Werner Baumann poses during a news conference in Leverkusen February 28, 2012. Quarterly earnings at Germany's largest drugmaker Bayer missed expectations on low sales volumes at its chemicals division as it banks on new drug launches to lift earnings in coming year. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

Bayer CFO Werner Baumann poses during a news conference in Leverkusen February 28, 2012. Quarterly earnings at Germany's largest drugmaker Bayer missed expectations on low sales volumes at its chemicals division as it banks on new drug launches to lift earnings in coming year.

Credit: Reuters/Ina Fassbender

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The finance chief of Bayer, Germany's largest drugmaker, raised the prospect of a dividend increase next year, following a higher profit outlook issued last month.

"Our operating business is developing very well at the moment," Chief Financial Officer Werner Baumann told Sunday paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in an interview, according to an excerpt made available to Reuters on Saturday.

"Our last dividend was 1.65 euros per share. If adjusted earnings gain 10 percent as planned, we will have leeway for an increase."

Bayer last month raised its full-year earnings outlook much more than expected as high grain prices fuelled demand at its farming pesticides unit and a fallen euro lifted the value of the its overseas revenues.

The diversified company said at the time it expected a high single-digit percentage gain in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), where it had previously seen a slight increase.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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