German drug and farming supplies company Bayer has today posted a 45% gain in quarterly core earnings thanks to the acquisition of seed maker Monsanto.

But the company's legal burden it took on with the deal mounted. 

Bayer said its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to €4.19 billion, edging past the £4.12 billion average analyst forecast in a Reuters poll. 

Bayer said 13,400 plaintiffs were seeking damages, alleging that use of the company's glyphosate-based weedkillers caused their cancer, up from 11,200 in January. 

Bayer has seen about €30 billion wiped off its market value since August, when a California jury in that lawsuit found that Monsanto should have warned of the alleged cancer risks. 

It will face shareholders' anger at its annual general meeting tomorrow. 

WWe continue to believe that we have meritorious defences and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously in all of these lawsuits," the company said. 

Earlier this week, Bayer launched an appeal with a California court to throw out the first glyphosate-related judgment for $78m in damages. 

When including Monsanto's pro-forma 2018 results in the comparison, revenues at Bayer's Crop Science division from pesticides and seeds were broadly flat at €6.35 billion, excluding currency effects. 

That was above an analyst consensus of €6.13 billion, as the launch of new insecticide products helped offset a decline on soybean seed sales. 

The company is still aiming for an increase in 2019 EBITDA before special items to about €12.2 billion, excluding the effect of currency swings and the planned sale of assets such as the animal health unit. 

Revenues from its bestseller Xarelto, to prevent strokes, and eye drug Eylea both gained more than 15%, to €937m and €583m, respectively, beating market expectations.