Bayer Healthcare posts big growth in Asia Pacific

Bayer Healthcare is on a roll in Asia. The German company toted up a 9.4% increase in Asia Pacific sales last year, for a regional total of 3.6 billion euros, or $4.8 billion. And it has even bigger ambitions: The company said it expects Asia sales to grow to 11 billion euros by 2015, with 6 billion of that coming from the China region.

"We are confident about our growth prospects in the region based on the dynamic development of the economy and the innovative potential of the pipeline," regional chief Alok Kanti told Reuters. One of the best new performers is the clot-fighter Xarelto, which grew 109% in the region last year in the hip-and-knee surgery market. With anticipated approvals for stroke prevention, Xarelto growth there is expected to accelerate.

As Kanti notes, most drugmakers are now focused on emerging markets, given that developing countries are posting double-digit growth figures, compared with lagging growth in the U.S. and Europe. Bayer already sources almost one-third of its global sales in emerging countries.

Which countries are turning in the biggest numbers for Bayer? Sales growth leaders for the company were Singapore, Vietnam, and Pakistan, all with 26% and higher growth. The company didn't break out its China figures, Reuters said.

- read the Reuters news

ALSO: Bayer AG put in a preliminary bid for Pfizer's ($PFE) animal health unit, Dow Jones reports, citing the Financial Times Deutschland. Pfizer is expected to offer an update on the potential deal by early April, the FT's sources said. Report