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Drug and chemical maker Bayer AG 3Q profit nearly quadruples to EUR1.18 billion

Drug and chemical maker Bayer AG said Tuesday third-quarter profit nearly quadrupled, pulled higher by a massive tax gain.

The Leverkusen-based company, famed for its invention of Aspirin, earned EUR1.18 billion (US$1.71 billion) in the July-September period, up from EUR320 million a year earlier.

The result was boosted higher by a EUR911 million (US$1.3 billion) tax gain the company posted from the recalculation of deferred taxes.

Sales in the third quarter rose 4.5 percent to EUR7.79 billion (US$11.3 billion).

A key indicator of the company's future fiscal health, earnings pretax profit rose to EUR1.56 billion (US$2.26 billion) from EUR1.46 billion in the same period a year ago.

Looking ahead, the company lifted its sales outlook for 2007, saying it hopes to post sales of more than EUR32 billion (US$46.36 billion) for the year, an increase of about 6 percent. That is higher than the 5 percent the company had detailed before.