Bayer chief aims for 37% pharma growth in China

Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers (photo) likes to talk about his company's new anti-clotting drug Xarelto, and every time he mentions the brand, he seems more optimistic about it. He also likes to talk about China. And just as with Xarelto, he doesn't let the obstacles get him down.

In a briefing today in Shanghai, Dekkers reiterated his goal of €6 billion in Chinese sales by 2015, with a growing share of revenues coming from Bayer's pharma unit. The drug business is expected to bring in about €2.5 billion by 2015--up from €926 million last year, which means its share of Bayer's overall Chinese sales would grow to about 42% from 32%, Bloomberg reports. To help drive its growth plans, Bayer plans to expand into medium-sized cities and rural areas.

Dekkers' aims for China haven't been deterred by the government's recent price-cutting moves, including controls that will apply to foreign drugmakers. The pricing measures might interfere with drugmakers' ability to charge a premium for their branded generics, which could put a crimp in sales figures. Indeed, some domestic drugmakers are bowing out of bidding for provincial drug contracts because the prices are so low.

Dekkers' expectations for sales across Asia are even more aggressive: He's projecting a 60% increase by 2015, with regional revenues surpassing €11 billion ($15 billion). That would be almost one-quarter of Bayer's total sales, up from 20%. Of course, those numbers include Bayer's non-pharma divisions, including the MaterialScience unit that's building a multibillion-euro polymer factory in Shanghai.

- read the Bloomberg story
- get more from Reuters