Bayer to cut more than 1.5 bln euros in costs

BERLIN, Sept 30 (Reuters) - German drugs company Bayer AG announced plans on Wednesday for more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.76 billion)of cost cuts as of 2024, on top of savings announced in 2018, as it battles with a slowdown in the agricultural market.

The cash flow freed up would be allocated for investments in further innovation, profitable growth opportunities and debt reduction. It said the restructuring, which may also lead to extra job cuts, is in the early stages of planning.

Bayer said it expects 2021 sales to be about the same as in 2020, despite significant headwinds from COVID-19, especially in the agricultural market, and said it expects core earnings per share to be slightly lower at constant exchange rates.

$1 = 0.8541 euros Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne