Bayer 2013 outlook slightly below market view

FRANKFURT Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:36am EST

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FRANKFURT Feb 28 (Reuters) - Germany's largest drugmaker Bayer gave a 2013 underlying earnings outlook that was slightly below analyst expectations amid fresh competition for one of its most promising new drugs.

Bayer, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, said it expected growth in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the mid single-digit percentage range, where analysts had seen a gain of about 8 percent.

Fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA rose 18.4 percent to 1.825 billion euros ($2.39 billion), in line with the average estimate in a Reuters poll.

Quarterly sales of 9.86 billion euros were slightly above expectations. ($1 = 0.7628 euros) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Frank Siebelt)

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