Bayer’s earnings before interest and tax increased by 44.1 percent during the second quarter of 2004, compared to the second quarter of 2003, to €660 million, while sales rose by 4.5 percent to €7.58 billion. When adjusted for currency and portfolio effects, sales grew by 7.9 percent. The results were boosted by increased demand for industrial products from Bayer Material Sciences and Lanxess. Revenue from the Lanxess subgroup, before interest and tax, rose by €67 million to €20 million, and increased sales by 9.7 percent to €1.59 billion. Preparations to launch Lanxess on the stock market are continuing as planned, with Lanxess due to be separated from the Bayer Group as a spin-off company in early 2005.