Bayer books second-quarter loss after settlement

Frankfurt | Reuters — German drugs and pesticides group Bayer reported a 9.5 billion-euro (C$14.86 billion) net loss for its second quarter, following a US$10.9 billion settlement of U.S. lawsuits claiming that its Roundup herbicide caused cancer.

The charges stemmed mainly from agreements which attempted to wrap up legal disputes inherited with its US$63 billion takeover of Monsanto in 2018, including settlements on dicamba, another herbicide, and on waste water contaminated with PCBs.

But it also included reserves for birth-control device Essure as talks over potential settlements “have intensified which made good progress in recent weeks,” Bayer said, adding that it stood by the device’s safety and efficacy.

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Litigations charges of 1.25 billion euros at the pharmaceuticals unit for the quarter were mainly for funds set aside for the Essure litigation.

As of July 24, 32,000 U.S. users of Essure had brought lawsuits against Bayer, alleging personal injuries, Bayer said in its quarterly report.

Bayer on Tuesday also said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), adjusted for special items, would be around 12.1 billion euros this year, down from a target of 12.3 billion to 12.6 billion euros issued in February.

A second-quarter gain in adjusted EBITDA of 5.6 per cent, to 2.88 billion euros, was slightly above analyst expectations.

— Reporting for Reuters by Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss.

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