© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen, Germany February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Agriculture and pharmaceuticals company Bayer (OTC:) said operating earnings would likely decline in 2023, hurt by higher costs and by the reversal of last year’s price boost for its glyphosate-based weedkillers.

In a statement on Tuesday, Bayer said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), adjusted for special items, would likely be between 12.5 billion and 13 billion euros this year, excluding the effect of currency swings.

That would be a decline from the 13.5 billion reported for 2022, which was up 20.9% from a year earlier and slightly higher than analysts had expected on average, according to a consensus posted on the company’s website.

In his last presentation of the company’s quarterly results, Chief Executive Werner Baumann said the company is active in the right areas of business.

“Health and nutrition are fundamental human needs. Our vision of Health for all, hunger for none is and will remain vitally important, especially in times like these,” he said.

Bayer said this month it would replace its CEO early, recruiting the former head of Roche’s pharmaceuticals business, Bill Anderson, amid demands by some investors that Bayer should simplify its diversified structure and split into separate groups.

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