Bayer sees Q2 bright spots in China pharma, but consumer health is more complicated

Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers

It was not so downbeat for Bayer Healthcare in China in the second quarter, though the consumer side, like Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) is watching the mix of legacy and new sales channels and managing the integration of products picked up in the acquisition last quarter of Merck's ($MRK) consumer business.

Marijn Dekkers, chairman and CEO at Bayer, turned to his colleagues to handle questions during the July 29 second-quarter earning call across the three varied main businesses of healthcare, crop science and materials. He added his own note about Eylea.

"Eylea again showed impressive growth, up 49% versus the prior year, driven by the launch in new indications; for example, DME (diabetic macular edema) in several European countries and Japan," Dekkers said. "We defended our market leadership in Australia and in Japan, and in all key European countries we gained significant market share with Eylea."

Onto China then with Deutsche Bank analyst Tim Race asking about the environment in China across divisions.

Werner Baumann, chairman of Bayer Healthcare, spoke about his patch in fairly positive terms and what to look out for this year.

"Yes, Tim, I can give you a little bit more color in terms of HealthCare performance in its, let's say, main contributing divisions in China and also what we expect vis-a-vis our guidance and market growth for the remainder of the year," Baumann said.

"In pharma the second quarter showed a growth of about 6%. As Johannes mentioned, that contributed to the overall growth of the Group, of course. For the first half of the year, it's 9%. Our guidance for the year is that it's going to be around 10%, yes. So we are fully in line here and there is no reason to deviate from it."

He said newer products such as Xarelto where key drivers in pharma for China. He also said part of the changes in consumer related to integration impact the large legacy business.

"On Consumer Care it's somewhat more complicated because there are more elements that are driving the performance here. Our underlying Consumer Care business in the second quarter eroded a little bit, and that is exclusively driven by the significant integration work that happens."

- here's the Bayer earnings release