Bayer delivers robust performance despite pandemic – foundation laid for future growth
The Bayer Group delivered robust operational performance in 2020. “Our operational strength in these turbulent times shows just how resilient our businesses are, even during the pandemic,” said Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Management, on Thursday during the company’s Financial News Conference. “We also used the past year to lay the foundation for future growth. We continued to drive forward our company’s transformation, advanced our product pipelines and invested in new technologies across all our business units,” Baumann said. For 2021, Bayer expects to achieve solid operational growth and stable earnings at constant currencies.
In the pharmaceuticals business alone, Bayer entered into more than 25 acquisition or collaboration agreements in 2020, with the largest acquisition being biotech company Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio). “With AskBio and BlueRock Therapeutics, we are building a platform for cell and gene therapy and are further consolidating our emerging leadership in this highly promising and fast-growing field,” explained Baumann. Bayer also systematically invested in innovation in other areas in 2020, such as personalized nutrition, with the company taking a majority stake in Care/of for its Consumer Health business, he said. In addition, Crop Science launched its new short-stature corn Vitala™ in Mexico as part of a pilot project, Baumann noted.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Bayer has introduced extensive protective measures across all of its sites and has supported employees working from home. “Our primary focus has of course always been on our responsibility toward our roughly 100,000 employees around the globe – and especially on providing what are in some cases essential products and services to customers, patients and farmers,” said Baumann, who also highlighted the commitment shown by the company’s workforce. “Our employees have displayed great initiative in doing what they can to help since the pandemic began,” he said. Bayer has also entered into an extensive partnership with biopharmaceutical company CureVac N.V., Germany, as part of efforts to combat COVID-19. “Our initial focus is on supporting the clinical studies and approval process for CureVac’s vaccine,” Baumann explained. “At the same time, preparations are underway in Wuppertal and across our global production network so that we can help with vaccine manufacture, too, as soon as possible.”