German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer AG yesterday posted another huge loss in the third quarter of this year as it struggles to manage legal issues surrounding its glyphosate weedkiller linked by plaintiffs to cancer cases.
The company incurred a net loss of 2.7 billion euros (US$3.2 billion), compared with a profit of 1.05 billion euros in the same quarter last year, and well down from analyst estimates for 798 million euros in profit, the FactSet financial information service said.
However, the result improves on the 9.5 billion euro loss Bayer posted in the second quarter after it settled most lawsuits against its Roundup glyphosate weedkiller produced by Monsanto Co, the US agrochemical company it controversially acquired for 63 billion euros in 2018.
However, since then, a California district judge has expressed major reservations about the settlement’s validity, forcing Bayer to back down on part of the agreement involving future cases.
Bayer said there were about 125,000 claims involving Roundup in June, but it would now “take more time” to address legal issues, and it had taken provisions in the third quarter of US$2 billion, up from US$1.25 billion previously.
“The company is continuing to work on a joint proposal to address potential future Roundup claims together with plaintiffs’ counsel and is working in good faith to address the issues raised by the court,” Bayer said.
Its agrochemical business was also affected by the depreciation of the Brazilian real, which is “weighing heavily” on trading in the world’s second-largest agricultural market.
However, Bayer confirmed its outlook for the full year “thanks to stringent cost management and the acceleration of our structural measures,” chief executive Werner Baumann said in a statement.
Last month, Bayer said it would accelerate a cost-cutting program that might lead it to slash jobs as it also tries to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company expects to save 1.5 billion euros by 2024, on top of the 2.6 billion euros of annual savings it expects to make from 2022, Bayer said.
SETTING AN EXAMPLE: The commission suspended the bank’s two top executives as ‘a warning to all banks,’ while the fine is the biggest to be given to a bank in a single case The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined E.Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行) NT$20 million (US$693,698) over a theft scandal and punished the bank’s two top executives. A customer relationship manager surnamed Pan (潘) at the bank’s branch in Kaohsiung’s Fengshan District (鳳山) stole NT$140 million from 41 clients over the past seven years, the commission said. Pan secretly transferred the stolen money to accounts belonging to her and her family members by using clients’ debit cards, passwords or documents that were stamped using the clients’ personal stamps between July 2013 and June this year, the commission said. The commission suspended Ben Chen (陳炳良), the
Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is expected to remain the third-largest IC supplier this year, unchanged from last year, IC Insights said yesterday. IC designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) is expected to become the 11th-largest, up from 16th last year, the semiconductor market research firm said. TSMC is expected to post US$45.42 billion in sales, up 31 percent from last year, IC Insights said in a report released on its Web site. TSMC’s sales growth is largely due to a surge in orders from Apple Inc and HiSilicon Technologies Co (海思半導體) — two of its major clients — which
HARD ASK: At a meeting held by the MOEA to talk about the RCEP trade deal, trade associations said that they expect the government to push for more free-trade deals Business representatives yesterday urged the government to slow the appreciation of the New Taiwan dollar, saying that some Taiwanese industries have been undercut by rivals due to unfavorable foreign exchange rates. The government should also assist local industries to expand their domestic market, and push for more bilateral trade deals so that Taiwanese companies can enjoy zero or preferential tariffs on exports, following the nation’s exclusion from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which was signed by 15 Asia-Pacific nations on Nov. 15, they said at a meeting with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Some participants said that the NT dollar’s
BREATH OF LIFE: The firm said the under-utilized plant should start mass production in the first quarter, timed to coincide with Intel Corp’s release of its Ice Lake server chip Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) plans to assemble key components for Google servers at its plant in Wisconsin, people familiar with the matter said, finally breathing life into a factory that US President Donald Trump hailed as crucial to bringing manufacturing back to the US. The company has decided to locate production for this new contract at the existing complex rather than make the components at home or in China, the people said, asking not to be identified. The under-utilized plant should start mass production in the first quarter, timed with the release of Intel Corp’s Ice Lake server chips,