BERLIN (AFP) – German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said yesterday that it was back in the black in 2021, thanks primarily to a strong performance of its agrochemicals division.
Its return to profit came after the coronavirus pandemic and litigation costs had pushed it into a massive loss a year earlier.
Bayer said in a statement that it booked a net profit of EUR1.0 billion last year, compared with a loss of EUR10.5 billion in 2020.
The maker of Aspirin said it also returned to profit at an underlying or operating level, with earnings before interest and tax showing a profit of EUR3.3 billion, compared with a loss of EUR16.1 billion the year before.
“The Bayer Group had a successful year in 2021, both operationally and strategically,” the statement said.
“We posted substantial growth, strengthened our innovation pipeline and made progress toward our sustainability targets. All this shows that Bayer is on the right track,” said Chief Executive Werner Baumann.
“We not only met our updated group forecast, but in fact exceeded it,” he added.
The strong performance was partly driven by Bayer’s agricultural division, which benefitted from higher prices for soybean seeds and glyphosate-based herbicides.
Bayer expects turnover and profitability to improve in 2022, but its forecasts are based on a “stable geopolitical environment” in eastern Europe, which has changed “spectacularly” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.