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Bayer's farming business drives Q1 earnings beat

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The logo of Bayer AG is seen in a showroom of the German drugmaker where the annual results news conference takes place in Leverkusen
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By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Agriculture and pharmaceuticals company Bayer reported quarterly adjusted earnings rose a better-than-expected 27.5% on strong gains at its seeds and pesticides business.

First quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), adjusted for one-off items, came in at 5.25 billion euros ($5.55 billion), well above the average analyst estimate of 4.65 billion euros posted on the company's website.

The Crop Science division, which generates the bulk of its earnings during the first half of the year, saw adjusted EBITDA jump by half to 3.67 billion euros, beating a market consensus of 2.95 billion euros, more than off-setting weaker pharmaceutical earnings.

Prices of agricultural commodities like corn and soy have surged globally amid concern that Russia's attack on Ukraine will disrupt farming there as both countries are major grains exporters.

Bayer’s Chief Executive Werner Baumann told shareholders at last month’s annual general meeting that favourable agricultural markets had helped the group to a very successful start to the year.

The group confirmed its guidance for full-year results.

($1 = 0.9455 euros)

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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