As the intensifying global recession has taken a toll on plastics demand, Bayer AG has lowered its forecast for 2009. As operating loss at the chemicals unit overshadowed gains in health care, Q4 profits dipped to €106 mln (US$134 mln). Net income was reported at €106 mln, up from €67 mln recorded a year ago. The plastics division had an operating loss of €86 mln before items compared with a €241 mln gain. Germany’s largest drugmaker has forecast a fall in sales and earnings this year after forecasting growth in October.
The plastics and foams division that supplies to the automotive industry, had a weaker-than-expected start to the year, forcing Bayer to shorten working hours. German chemical production is estimated to fall at the fastest pace since World War II as clients from the auto and building industries cancel orders. The MaterialScience unit seems to be a black box currently, while the life science units seem quite solid.