Liam Condon, administrator and head of the agricultural division of the Dax Bayer group, leaves at the end of the year. The company has announced that it has asked the supervisory board to prematurely terminate its contract, which runs until the end of 2023. Such messages are often embellished with subtleties. So also this one. Supervisory Board Chairman Norbert Winkeljohann thanked Condon for “his accomplishments over the more than 30 years of his career at Bayer”. Condon will face a “new professional challenge”, said CEO Werner Baumann.
There was speculation about Condon’s departure. The manager was also responsible for the integration of Monsanto. Bayer has not been out of the negative news since the takeover in the summer of 2018. According to an article published in Manager Magazin in early October, the fall in prices in recent years is internally attributed to the Irishman Condon. He will be replaced by Brazilian Rodrigo Santos, 48, on the board of directors and at the head of the agricultural company. He will be serving from St. Louis / USA, Baumann said. Bayer does 70 percent of its agricultural activity in North America and Latin America.
Operationally, the third quarter of 2021 has been “strong,” Baumann said. Group sales increased 15% to 9.8 billion euros. The Group’s operating profit before interest and taxes amounted to 530 million euros. In the third quarter of 2020, which operationally ended with a loss of around 9.4 billion euros, the group had to face exceptional expenses of 10.2 billion euros. Value adjustments in the agricultural sector alone increased by 9.3 billion euros year on year. In addition, there were provisions for “possible future litigation” in the glyphosate case.
While the Pharma divisions, including prescription drugs, and Consumer Health, like over-the-counter products like Bepanthen ointment, reported operating profit, the agricultural business closed the third quarter of 2021 with a loss of 200 million euros.
Bayer had already raised its expectations for the full year in August. Now the group is raising the forecast again. Adjusted for currency and portfolio changes, he still expects sales of around € 44 billion, which is an increase of 7% instead of the 6% forecast in August. Bayer has raised its forecast for adjusted earnings per share by ten cents to around 6.50 to 6.70 euros. In fiscal 2020, Bayer achieved sales of € 41.4 billion and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations amounted to € 6.39.
With great fanfare, Tübingen-based company Curevac and Bayer announced in early 2021 that they would work together on the approval, production and sale of an mRNA-based vaccine. In mid-October, Curevac announced that it would no longer pursue approval of the first-generation vaccine. This means that there is “currently no basis for further development of vaccine production in Wuppertal. We have discontinued these activities,” Baumann said on a conference call. During the year, hundreds of employees were sometimes busy supporting Curevac and expanding vaccine production. They have been removed from less time critical projects. The newly hired employees at the Wuppertal site, around thirty, would now be “used for other purposes”. Bayer is still interested in mRNA technology and “is still in discussions with Curevac”. There is no contractual cooperation, said Baumann.
Bayer has “no strategic interest and no real basis for establishing its own vaccine presence,” Baumann said. You just wanted to support. Due to its “massive success” with vaccines, Bayer is investigating mRNA technology for areas in which Bayer has strategic interests, for example cell and gene therapy and in the areas of oncology, cardiology and cancer. ophthalmology. “We are looking for possible partnerships.
In the fight against the corona pandemic, vaccination is the “method of choice,” Baumann said: “We urge our people to get vaccinated. We cannot force vaccination in many areas.” It is best to apply wherever Bayer is active in the healthcare industry, such as when salespeople and technicians visit hospitals. “We have to make sure we don’t put medical staff, nurses and patients at risk.” In some areas where the vaccination rate is not very high, Bayer wants to increase it by “addressing more”, Baumann said, without giving details: “I am of the opinion that everyone should be vaccinated”.