Germany's Bayer (BAYRY)   beat analyst expectations by almost 10% when it released its first-quarter earnings this morning, vindicating the company's decision to restructure its business into three divisions - pharmaceuticals, consumer health and crop science.

Bayer's sales increased by 3.2%, supported by recently launched prescription drugs anticoagulant Xarelto and eye medicine Eylea as sales in pharma increased by 12.2%.

Shares of Germany's largest company were up as much as 1.9% in morning trading in Frankfurt.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization advanced by almost 16% to €3.4 billion ($3.83 billion) despite higher research and development expenses in the pharmaceutical and crop science divisions and negative currency effects of around €60 million, the company reported.

Sales in the consumer health division rose by 2.2%, due to significant gains in the Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Sales declined in Europe and the U.S.  Sales of antihistamine Claritin declined 7.4% and the Alka-Seltzer family of products saw declines of 14.5%, due to a weak cold season in the U.S.

The company's crop science division revenue up 1.2% despite weak sales in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers will step down at the end of April, with Werner Baumann, currently the company's head of strategy, taking the helm.