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Stars aligned for us: Bayer CEO

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."

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Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers
Patrik Stollarazia | AFP | Getty Images
Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers

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.

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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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