German multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer has recorded first quarter group sales of €11.8m.

For the quarter ending March 31, Bayer’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (excluding some costs) rose 16% to €3.40 billion, while net income grew 13.3% to €1.5m.

All segments posted gains in their operating performance,” said Bayer CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers.

Bayer’s Crop Science division produces seeds, pesticides, non-agricultural pest control and plant biotechnology. In addition to conventional agrochemical business, it is involved in the genetic engineering of food.

The Crop Science division outperformed the prior-year first quarter by 1.2% to €3.0m.

“We slightly expanded business at Crop Protection/Seeds despite an ongoing weak market environment,” said Dekkers.

In regional terms, the Crop Science business decreased 2.2% in Europe, but grew 3.8% in North America.

Bayer’s seed sales grew almost 12% largely thanks to positive growth in vegetable seed sales.

Its sale of fungicides increased almost 3%. However, insecticide sales were down 12.2%.

“Sales of the insecticides business were down considerably against the prior-year quarter, due particularly to lower sales of products for application in oilseed rape/canola,” Bayer said.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation before special items of the Crop Science Division improved by 6.3% to €1.1m.

Earlier this year Germany’s largest company, which produces fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and crop varieties, stated its aim of achieving €35 billion in sales for 2016.

Positive Economic Growth

Bayer said it expect global economic growth in 2016 to match 2015, with very low interest rates overall worldwide continuing to stimulate the economy.

“We anticipate ongoing steady growth in the European Union, with Germany especially contributing to this development.

“The US economy is expected to grow at a slightly slower pace than in the previous year. By contrast, we anticipate slightly stronger growth in the emerging markets, although the Chinese economy is predicted to lose further momentum.”