The German chemical and pharmaceutical group Bayer recorded losses of 10,495 million euros in 2020, in contrast to the net profit of 4,091 million recorded a year earlier, as a result of the exceptional adverse impact of the depreciation of assets in its agricultural business, as well as the out-of-court settlement reached to settle much of the litigation related to glyphosate from the herbicide RoundUp.
Bayer revises its strategy for the “negative effect” of the 13,400 lawsuits in the US for the carcinogenic effect of its herbicide with glyphosate
In total, in the last fiscal year Bayer assumed an extraordinary negative impact of 23,264 million euros, compared to 2,813 million in 2019, including provisions related to litigation, as well as asset write-offs in its Crop Science agricultural division.
The CEO of the company, Werner Baumann, explained that “the total cost of the planned settlements of all pending claims is estimated at 9.6 billion dollars.” In addition to this amount, he added that “in terms of possible future Roundup cases, the parties have negotiated a revised settlement proposal and submitted it to the court. The agreement includes a commitment that Bayer will contribute up to $ 2 billion for future claims and other elements of the settlement “.
Bayer’s sales for the year as a whole fell by 4.9% annually, to € 41.4 billion, including a 5% decline in the agricultural business, with € 18.84 billion, as well as 4% in the pharmaceutical area. with 17,243 million, while the non-prescription drug business entered 7.5% less, up to 5,054 million.
However, in the fourth quarter, Bayer recorded a net profit of 308 million euros, 78.2% less than in the same period of 2019. Likewise, the turnover of the German company reached between October and December of the last year 9,995 million euros, 7% less.
“Our businesses are resilient, even during the pandemic,” Baumann said, noting that the company used last year to lay the foundation for its future growth. “We continue to drive the transformation of our company, advance our product portfolio and invest in new technologies in all our business units,” he stressed.
Looking ahead to financial year 2021, the German company anticipated that it expects to reach a turnover of between 42,000 and 43,000 million euros, an advance of around 3%.
On the other hand, the administrative and supervisory boards of Bayer will propose to the general meeting of shareholders of the multinational, which will be held on April 27, the payment of a dividend of 2 euros per share corresponding to the financial year 2020, compared to the 2.80 euros paid in 2019, which will mean the distribution of a total of 1,965 million euros among the company’s shareholders, compared to 2,751 million the previous year.