* Q3 EBITDA 2.52 bln eur vs Reuters poll avg 2.31 bln
* Eylea anti-blindness treatment sales jump 69 percent
* Shares up 1.3 percent, outperforming the DAX (Adds details on CropScience unit, forex effects)
By Ludwig Burger
FRANKFURT, Oct 29 (Reuters) - German drugmaker Bayer’s core earnings jumped 28 percent in the third quarter, bolstered by sales of new drugs, the $14 billion purchase of Merck & Co’s consumer health business and positive currency effects.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), excluding one-offs, rose to 2.52 billion euros ($2.8 billion), above market predictions of 2.31 billion euros as the crop protection business fared better than expected
Shares in Bayer gained 1.3 percent while Germany’s blue-chip index DAX was little changed.
Analysts said the CropScience division, a pesticides and seeds business, proved more resilient than feared after results at rival pesticides makers BASF, DuPont and Syngenta took a hit from a weak Brazilian market.
Bayer Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers pointed to 4-6 percent organic growth in some markets outside Latin America.
Sales of Eylea, an injection used against a condition that is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, jumped 69 percent from a year earlier to 320 million euros in the quarter.
U.S. development partner Regeneron in August raised its 2015 sales growth estimate for injectable drug Eylea to 45-50 percent.
Stroke prevention pill Xarelto, which competes with Bristol Myers-Squibb and Pfizer’s Eliquis, posted a sales gain of 30 percent to 571 million euros.
Boosting the value of overseas sales, the dollar was up 19 percent year-on-year against the euro in the third quarter on average. North America accounted for 26 percent of group sales.
Bayer’s non-prescription treatments revenue jumped 42 percent to 1.4 billion euros following the purchase of Merck & Co’s consumer health business, with only 1.7 percent growth left after deducting the effects of that deal and of currency changes.
Bayer, which plans to sever ties with its separately listed plastics business Covestro, still expects 2015 adjusted EBITDA to grow by “a high-teens percentage”, including positive currency effects of about 4 percent.
It lowered its 2015 revenue target to roughly 46 billion euros from 47 billion euros previously, anticipating less of a boost from currency effects than previously.
$1 = 0.9140 euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Georgina Prodhan and Elaine Hardcastle