14 May 2013 17:28 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Merck Group's first-quarter net income grew 54% year on year to €266m ($345m), as all four of its divisions contributed to sales growth, the Germany-based chemical producer said on Tuesday.
The company said a 29% increase in the operating result (earnings before interest and tax, or EBIT) to €399m, “coupled with lower interest expenses and a comparatively low tax burden,” also led to the improvement in net income.
Total revenues increased by 4.4% year on year to €2.76bn in the first quarter of 2013 “fueled by organic growth of 5.6%", while first-quarter 2013 sales (total revenues less royalty, licence and commission income) rose 3.8% to €2.66bn on the back of an organic sales growth of 5.0%, Merck added.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) pre one-time items during the period rose by 19% year on year to €801m, equivalent to 30.1% of sales.
“Merck got off to a solid and profitable start in 2013 with all four divisions contributing to our organic sales growth,” said chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley.
“In addition, we are making excellent progress on our ‘Fit for 2018’ program. This can clearly be seen in the 19% increase in EBITDA pre one-time items.
“In fact, we expect that by the end of the year, EBITDA pre should exceed €3bn," he added.
Merck also announced that following an analysis of the business climates in which its four divisions (Performance Materials, Merck Serono, Consumer Health and Merck Millipore) operate, the company expects its previously announced earnings guidance for 2014 to be achieved one year earlier than expected.
For 2013, Merck expects group sales between €10.7-10.9bn, EBITDA pre one-time items around €3.1-3.2bn and earnings per share pre one-time items around €8.50-9.00.
($1 = €0.77)
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