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Leverkusen—The Bayer Group is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2013 with numerous events around the world. These will focus on its more than 110,000 employees globally. Celebration events are also planned for the company's neighbors, customers and partners and a symposium is to be held for the scientific community in the fall.

Karen Laird

March 12, 2013

3 Min Read
Bayer celebrates 150th anniversary

Leverkusen—The Bayer Group is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2013 with numerous events around the world. These will focus on its more than 110,000 employees globally. Celebration events are also planned for the company's neighbors, customers and partners and a symposium is to be held for the scientific community in the fall.

Two of the planned highlights of the celebration were launched at the Financial News Conference held in Leverkusen on Feb. 28. The first was immediately visible on arrival at BayKomm, Bayer's Communication Center in Leverkusen, Germany: hovering aloft was the blue and green Bayer airship complete with the Bayer Cross, which was especially built to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the company and will be deployed to five continents to accompany the various events taking place around the world; the second, a traveling exhibition that visualized topics related to health care, agriculture and high-performance materials, was set up inside the BayKomm building. The exhibits - microscopes, thermal imaging cameras, digital games and many more - have been designed specifically to be touched and tried out, encouraging visitors to interact with the displays. The exhibition is scheduled to visit more than 20 sites throughout the world.AirshipBayer.jpg

Bayer MaterialScience

"Bayer can look back on a long and highly successful history as an inventor company," explained CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers. "What started as a small but innovative dyestuffs factory in the Barmen district of Wuppertal is now a global enterprise with more than 110,000 employees." An anniversary like this instantly calls to mind words such as tradition and continuity, according to Dekkers, yet quite the opposite is actually the case. In fact, Bayer can look back on 150 years of ongoing change and renewal. "A company cannot exist in the long term without changing and adapting," emphasized Bayer's CEO.

That's something Bayer is particularly adept at, if the financial results are anything to go by. Sales of the group grew 8.8% in 2012, to EUR 39,760 million (2011: EUR 36,528 million), reaching "the highest level in our company's 150-year history," noted Dekkers. While Crop Science performed exceptionally strongly, Bayer MaterialScience contributed as well, with sales of the high-tech materials business rising 6.2%, to EUR 11,503 million (2011: EUR 10,832 million). EBITDA before special items rose 6.8% to EUR 1,251 million (2011: EUR 1,171 million), mainly due to higher volumes, savings achieved from efficiency improvement measures and positive currency effects. However, lower earnings were posted as a result of higher raw material and energy costs.

"Last year's results were pleasing, and we are also optimistic for 2013," said Dekkers. For 2013, BMS is looking to achieve a slight increase in sales on a currency- and portfolio- adjusted basis to around EUR 12 billion.

In the longer term - the period through 2015 - Bayer anticipates a volume-driven expansion in the MaterialScience business beyond the growth rate of the global economy. The current high capacities on the world market will be absorbed by rising global demand in the coming years. In response to the commoditization of the business, BMS is focusing on further efficiency measures that should contribute 1.5 percentage points to the EBITDA margin before special items by 2015.

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