* Q2 adj EBITDA 2.22 bln euros vs 2.31 bln poll avg
* Sees 41 bln euros in 2014 sales vs 41-42 bln previously
* Shares up 3 pct as outlook for adjusted EBITDA reaffirmed (Adds analyst quote, updates shares)
By Ludwig Burger
FRANKFURT, July 30 (Reuters) - Bayer, Germany’s largest drugmaker, reported a big jump in sales of its top five new drugs in the second quarter, while its total sales and profits were dampened by the strength of the euro.
The five new medicines - anti-clotting drug Xarelto, eye treatment Eylea, lung drug Adempas and cancer treatments Stivarga and Xofigo - had combined sales of 702 million euros over the quarter, against 339 million euros in the year-ago period, more than what most analysts had forecast.
Bayer, the inventor of Aspirin and maker of Yasmin birth-control pills, has said it expects peak annual sales of at least 7.5 billion euros from these drugs, up from 1.52 billion last year.
Sales from anti-clotting drug Xarelto alone, which competes with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer’s Eliquis pill in stroke prevention, reached 1.3 billion euros in the 12 months to June, giving it so-called blockbuster status.
Bayer said on Wednesday second-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) edged 1 percent higher to 2.22 billion euros ($2.98 billion), just short of the average estimate of 2.31 billion euros in a Reuters poll.
“It’s mainly thanks to the good development of new pharma products that Bayer achieved slight gains in sales and earnings in Q2 2014 despite the persistent strain from foreign exchange rates,” said Thorsten Strauss, an analyst with bank Nord LB, who reiterated a “buy” recommendation.
The strong euro - up more than 5 percent against the U.S. dollar on average over the quarter and also up against emerging market currencies such as Brazil’s real - prompted Bayer to dampen expectations for full-year revenues.
Shares in the company, which also makes transparent plastics for panoramic roofs, pesticides and veterinary drugs, gained 3 percent by 0857 GMT, poised to close at a 3-week high, as the market focused on new drug sales and also on relief that Bayer upheld its earnings outlook.
Before Wednesday, the shares were down 2.4 percent since the beginning of the year, underperforming a 3.3 percent gain in the STOXX Europe 600 Health Care index.
Bayer stuck to its target of low to medium single-digit percentage increase in adjusted core earnings for the year, even though predicting a negative currency effect of about 550 million euros, bigger than the 450 million seen previously.
“On a positive note, Bayer reiterated (its full-year) 2014 guidance on a divisional and group level... despite a worsening foreign exchange impact,” Equinet Bank analyst Marietta Miemietz said.
Bayer said it was targeting 2014 sales of 41 billion euros, where it had previously seen 41-42 billion, up from 40.2 billion euros last year, not including the planned acquisition of Merck & Co. Inc.’s consumer health business.
$1 = 0.7460 Euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Victoria Bryan and Jane Merriman