Bayer says profits up 11.5% in Q1

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said Thursday that it "got off to a good start" in 2013 with profits rising 11.5 percent on the back of new pharmaceutical products.

"For the Bayer group, the first quarter of 2013 was marked by the positive development of its life sciences businesses. Healthcare and crop science got off to a good start in our anniversary year. Our new pharmaceutical products especially grew at a dynamic pace," said chief executive Marijn Dekkers.

Net profit grew by 11.5 percent to 1.16 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in the period from January to March.

Underlying or operating profit, as measured by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), edged up 0.4 percent to 2.453 billion euros and sales rose by 2.1 percent to 10.266 billion euros.

Looking ahead, CEO Dekker said Bayer was sticking to its full-year targets.

"Bayer continues to expect group sales for the full year 2013 to increase by 4.0-5.0 percent to approximately 41 billion euros. As before, Bayer plans to increase EBITDA by a mid-single-digit percentage and core earnings per share by a high-single-digit percentage," he said.