March 12, 2014 / 7:46 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Bayer eyes 8 pct annual pharma sales growth through 2016

* 5 top new drugs combined sales to be 2.8 bln eur in 2014

* Says MaterialScience unit to earn cost of capital by 2016

* Shares indicated 0.4 pct lower vs 0.7 pct fall for Dax

FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) - Bayer said newly launched drugs would help shore up the diversified group’s pharmaceuticals sales by an average 8 percent per year until 2016, adjusted for currency and portfolio effects.

Germany’s largest drugmaker last month boosted its estimate of the peak sales potential of its five most important new drugs to at least 7.5 billion euros ($10.4 billion), from more than 5.5 billion euros previously.

It said on Wednesday that combined sales of the five new drugs - anti-clotting drug Xarelto, eye drug Eylea, cancer drugs Stivarga and Xofigo as well as lung drug Adempas - would be about 2.8 billion euros in 2014, up from 1.5 billion euros in 2013.

Bayer’s bulging drugs pipeline has given its shares a 20 percent gain over the last 12 months, outperforming the 17 percent increase for the STOXX Europe 600 Health Care.

Bayer, which is making presentations to analysts and investors at its Leverkusen headquarters on Wednesday, said the lagging MaterialScience unit would earn its cost of capital by 2016, later than a previous target for 2015.

The division is the world’s largest maker of transparent plastics used in blu-ray disks and car head lights. It is also among the market leaders in chemicals for insulation and padding foams.

“At MaterialScience, we’re cautiously optimistic for the future despite the difficult market environment we encountered last year,” said Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers.

MaterialScience, suffering from global production overcapacity, is not earning its cost of capital. This implies the unit’s hypothetical standalone market value would decline.

The unit’s return on capital was just 5.5 pct last year, compared to a cost of capital was 6.9 pct.

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