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New drugs and increased spending on research and development mean the "stars are aligned" for German pharmaceutical giant Bayer, the firm's CEO told CNBC Thursday.
Bayer shares rose almost 3 percent after Germany's biggest drug maker said it expected growth in underlying core earnings to rise by over 10 percent this year thanks to new drugs such as stroke-prevention pill Xarelto.
Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers said the firm planned to lift spending on research and development (R&D) by 10 percent in 2015, following similar increases in previous years.
Asked whether this would weigh on profits, Dekkers said: "In our 2015 guidance, we plan to lift our core EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) by the mid-teens percent by next year."
"So when it is going well, you can afford to spend more on R&D and improve your profits. The stars are aligned for Bayer these days," he added. "The drug pipeline is very important which is why we are spending so much money on R&D."
According to Bayer, sales from its most recent drugs, such as Xarelto, would be close to 4 billion euros ($4.6 billion) this year, up from 2.9 billion euros last year.
Bayer earlier on Thursday unveiled a 4.4 percent rise in fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA to 1.85 billion euros.
This was below analysts' average estimate of 1.93 billion euros in a Reuters poll, with a decline in Bayer's plastics unit weighing on earnings.
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