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Bayer Posts Nearly Flat Profits

August 20, 1998

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) _ German chemical group Bayer said Thursday its first-half group net profit edged up 0.6 percent to 1.73 billion marks ($966 million), but that it still expects to reach higher earnings targets for the full year.

Bayer blamed the marginal improvement on an additional tax burden from higher earnings of its German subsidiaries.

Earnings targets for all of 1998 remain intact, based partly on high demand in major markets and a strong dollar, Bayer said.

First-half sales rose 3.5 percent to 28.39 billion marks from the year-earlier period, the company said. Sales in Asia declined, though, because of the region’s economic crisis, Bayer said.

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