Merck KGaA raises EBITDA profit forecast as demand rises

Merck KGaA raises EBITDA profit forecast as demand rises

BERLIN -- Merck KGaA raised its outlook after forecasting 2nd quarter profits on Thursday, boosted by demand for its lab gear and supplies from pharma companies making treatments and vaccines against coronavirus.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 46.7% to 1.6 billion euros above the consensus estimate of 1.46 billion euros in a poll of analysts - shared by the company.

'We have succeeded in moving for accelerated and efficient growth in all business sectors, said CEO Belen Garijo, highlighting the contribution of Merck's 'Big Three' divisions - healthcare, process solutions and semiconductor solutions.

We are poised for sustainable growth as we are in a position to address all its Covid and post-Covid macro trends, she added.

Reported group sales increased in the quarter by 18.2% and by 23% adjusted for currency movements. EBITDA grew organically from 53% in 2012-13.

Commenting on the outlook, Merck expects the recovery that began in late 2020 to continue, while its Life Sciences would expect significantly positive contributions owing to the COVID- 19 pandemic in particular.

It now expects net group shares to grow in 2021 by 12% - 14%, on an organic basis, up from previous forecast of 10% - 12%. It now sees adjusted EBITDA increase by 21% - 25%, up from an earlier view of 16% - 20% growth.