By Cecilia Butini
Merck KGaA said Thursday that earnings declined in the second quarter and it backed its overall view for the year despite some obstacles related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The German pharmaceuticals and chemicals company posted an after-tax profit of 289 million euros ($342.9 million) in the quarter, down from EUR471 million a year earlier.
Net sales rose 3.7% to EUR4.1 billion, driven by acquisition-related growth in the performance materials segment and by organic growth in the life science segment, it said.
Ebitda pre--or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization before one-time items--came in at EUR1.07 billion, Merck said, down from EUR1.4 billion the year prior.
Merck backed the outlook it had previously given for 2020, assuming that its business will be affected by the pandemic "to varying degrees," it said.
The company guided for a slight increase in net sales to a range between EUR16.9 billion and EUR17.7 billion. It expects Ebitda pre to be in a range between EUR4.45 billion and EUR4.85 billion, with the lower end of that range slightly above previous expectations.
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