Glyphosate sales fall as Bayer takes a €2.5 billion hit

A “significant further decline” of glyphosate sales could push Bayer towards a breakup of its agriculture business.

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With the decline of its glyphosate-based Roundup business, Bayer announced the company slashed its 2023 sales guidance by 2.5 billion euros because of the fallout. The German company now predicts its full-year earning to be between 48.5 billion euros and 49.5 billion euros.

According to a spokesperson for Bayer, the company released more glyphosate-based products to the market after the pandemic, which created less of a demand for the weedkillers.

“The normalization of the competitive environment around glyphosate was more pronounced than we had expected,” the spokesman said. “This was the principal cause of our outlook.”

The glyphosate line, which Bayer inherited after the company bought Monsanto in a $63 billion deal in 2018, has resulted in tens of thousands of lawsuits from individuals who claimed Roundup caused their cancers. While Bayer put up close to $10.9 billion to resolve existing and future Roundup lawsuits in the U.S., Bayer is still fighting such lawsuits in other countries, Fierce Pharma reported.

“The Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” Werner Baumann, Bayer’s chief executive, said in 2020.

While Bayer maintains that RoundUp is scientifically safe, the lawsuits argued that the weedkiller and its active ingredient glyphosate is to blame for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers, the BBC reported.

A “significant further decline” of glyphosate sales could push Bayer towards a breakup, which has been in talks, and make its agriculture business into a standalone public company “after the company replaced former CEO and Monsanto proponent Werner Baumann with pharma veteran and ex-Roche executive Bill Anderson,” Fierce Pharma reported.

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