BERLIN -- German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer (IW 1000/55) posted strong second-quarter results Wednesday which nevertheless fell short of analysts' expectations, and was circumspect about its 2013 outlook.
The group said net profit rose 75% to 841 million euros (US$1.1 billion) for the April to June period, driven by its pharmaceuticals and agro-chemicals divisions.
"At HealthCare, the launches of new pharmaceutical products are progressing considerably better than expected," chief executive Marijn Dekkers said.
"And CropScience maintained its gratifying business development in a positive market environment," he said.
Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast an 89% jump in net profit.
Underlying or operating profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), was also below analysts' forecasts, at 1.3 billion euros representing a 74% rise in the second quarter.
And the same was true for sales which grew nearly two percent compared to the same period a year earlier, to 10.4 billion euros.
The group said that its MaterialScience division was hit by "a difficult market environment."
"Earnings of this subgroup were held back by lower selling prices and higher raw material costs," the company said. For the full-year, Bayer said it was sticking to its outlook, albeit cautiously.
"We are currently maintaining our forecast for 2013, even if this appears increasingly ambitious," Dekkers said.
Bayer said it expected sales in 2013 to increase by between 4%-5%, to reach 40 to 41 billion euros.
Copryright Agence France-Presse, 2013