The company disclosed that 2004 revenue grew 4.2% to 29.8 billion euros, while earnings swung to a positive 603 million euros from a loss of 1.4 billion euros. Fourth-quarter results, meanwhile, showed even more zing. The top line rose 8.8% to 7.7 billion euros and net income sprang to 41 million euros from a 2 billion euro loss.
Bayer chalked up the improvement in part to greater efficiency from restructuring. In the wake of those changes, the firm boasted that it was able to successfully navigate a tough operating environment, including high raw material costs, and negative currency impact. And more savings could be on the way thanks to major changes now coming to fruition in Bayer's business. The company officially shed its money-losing Lanxess chemicals business in January.
The company's streamlining has no doubt been beneficial, but in the near term, the buzz around Bayer may have a lot more to do with its drug development efforts than with its lean operations. The company is currently working with Onyx Pharmaceuticals
Until more information is released on BAY-43-9006, investors can bask in Bayer's improved operating results. They can also take comfort from the fact that more good news may be on the way.
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.