Higher Produce Prices Benefit Bayer’s Agriculture Business In First Quarter

There was an increase of demand with increasing produce prices prompted Bayer to say that the prospects for its agriculture business have brightened during the first quarter. Bayer is the largest supplier of seeds and pesticides in the world.

“In the agriculture business, in particular, we see a market environment that gives us an increasingly positive perspective,” Bayer’s Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in the text of a speech posted on the group’s website and which is scheduled to be delivered at next week’s annual shareholder meeting.

The beginning of the current was successful and the company would be reporting its first quarter performance on May 12, he said.

“A sizable increase in the demand for agricultural products has led to rising prices. Of course, we hope that this momentum will continue,” Baumann said in the text of the speech.

For the company which is diversifying, the agriculture business has been a cause of concern in recent times even after Bayer boosted the business with the acquisition of rival Monsanto for $63 billion. In February this year, Bayer had said that it expected its earnings per share to slide in the current year which was not taken well by investors.

Reiterating that there would be about 3 per cent growth in the sales of the company for 2021, the CEO on Friday also cautioned about the company’s earnings per share for the entire year likely to come in slightly lower than the number in the previous year not including currency swings.

Buoyed by the launch of products such as digital farming services, new soy seeds and non-prescription remedies, Bayer promised last month to revive growth in adjusted earnings by 2024.

The losses suffered by the stocks of the company in October last year when the company had mentioned about the need of billions of euros in writedowns on agricultural assets, have been recovered by the company.

However the stock price of the company continue to be under pressure are because of continuing litigations. The company is finding it more expensive to finance last year’s $11 billion outline settlement in June of the lawsuits in the United States which alleged that Bayer’s Roundup weed killer causes cancer as the company is struggling to finance the deal.

The CEO reiterated in the speech that a new proposal agreed with plaintiffs’ lawyers has yet to be approved by the judge in the case.

(Adapted from Nasdaq.com)

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