German drugs and pesticides company Bayer said the economic downturn due to the coronavirus has prompted it to take a tougher stance in talks to settle claims its glyphosate-based weedkillers cause cancer.
The pandemic has significantly slowed the mediation process, it said in a statement on Monday.
"The company will consider a deal only if it is financially reasonable and puts in place a mechanism to resolve potential future claims efficiently.
Against the background of a looming recession and looking at, in part, considerable liquidity challenges, this applies now more than ever," Chief Executive Werner Baumann said.
The company added that fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 10.2% to 4.39 billion euros ($4.76 billion), beating average analyst expectations of 4.17 billion, according to Refinitiv data.