* Cuts MaterialScience FY profit outlook
* Lifts FY sales target from new drugs to 1.4 bln eur
* Says group profit target “increasingly ambitious”
* Shares indicated 2 pct lower (Adds details on new drugs, MaterialScience unit)
FRANKFURT, July 31 (Reuters) - Germany’s largest drugmaker Bayer warned its full-year profit target had become more challenging as difficult plastics and chemicals markets temper sales growth from new pharmaceuticals.
Successful drug development spurred the diversified group’s shares to a benchmark-beating 17 percent gain this year but its MaterialScience unit, a maker of insulation foam chemicals and transparent plastics, has been hit by high feedstock costs and lower prices amid fierce competition.
“We are currently maintaining our forecast for 2013, even if this appears increasingly ambitious,” Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers said in a statement on Wednesday.
Bayer said its three new pharmaceuticals - stroke prevention pill Xarelto, eye drug Eylea and cancer treatment Stivarga - would have combined revenues of about 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) this year, up from a previous forecast of 1 billion.
The group confirmed adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would grow by a medium single-digit percentage in 2013 but said MaterialScience would see lower earnings, previously forecast as flat.
Second-quarter adjusted EBITDA rose to 2.2 billion euros, just shy of the average estimate in a Reuters poll.
$1 = 0.7547 euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Harro ten Wolde and Maria Sheahan