Bayer First-Quarter Net Profit Surges

Chemical and pharmaceutical maker Bayer on Thursday reported a surge in first-quarter net profit to 2.8 billion euros ($3.82 billion), boosted by one-time gains and strong sales.

That compares with earnings of 600 million euros a year earlier.

Sales rose 23% to 8.3 billion euros ($11.33 billion). The company's health care unit, which posted the strongest growth, accounted for 3.6 billion euros ($4.91 billion), boosted by a 1.4 billion euros ($1.91 billion) contribution from recently acquired Schering.

"In light of the successful start to 2007, Bayer confirms the positive outlook for the full year," the Leverkusen-based company said in a statement.

The company's bottom line was helped by some 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) from the divestments of the diagnostics business and H.C. Starck.

Bayer will provide further details on first-quarter earnings in its interim report on May 8.

Bayer shares rose 3.1% in Frankfurt to 52.37 euros ($71.44).

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