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Merck KgaA Q3 Profit Climbs; Lifts FY EBITDA Pre Outlook

Merck KgaA (MKGAY.PK) reported that its third-quarter profit after tax climbed to 806 million euros or 1.85 euros per share from 342 million euros or 0.79 euros per share in the prior year.

The operating result or EBIT soared by 91.9% to 1.2 billion euros from the prior year. Earnings per share pre were 2.34 euros, or 73.3% more than in the year-earlier quarter.

EBITDA pre was 1.7 billion euros, which was 53.0% higher than in the third quarter of 2019. The increase was attributable to the strong operating performance of the businesses as well as income from the release of a provision amounting to 365 million euros for potential damages from the patent litigation with Biogen Inc.

Group net sales for the third-quarter increased by 9.7% year-over-year to 4.4 billion euros, due to double-digit percentage organic growth in the Life Science business sector and acquisition-related increases in the Performance Materials business sector.

For the full year 2020, the company now expects net sales to be in the range of 17.1 billion euros - 17.5 billion euros and EBITDA pre of 5.05 billion euros - 5.25 billion euros. Previously, the company expected annual group sales of between 16.9 billion euros and 17.7 billion euros as well as EBITDA pre in a range of 4.45 billion euros to 4.85 billion euros.

For fiscal 2020, the company now expects organic sales growth of 4% to 5% over the previous year and organic growth of EBITDA pre over the previous year excluding provision release between 6% and 8%.

Merck now expects annual organic increase in EBITDA pre of 14% to 16% in comparison with the previous year. Previously, the company had expected a slight to moderate organic increase.

The company has raised its annual forecast for earnings per share pre and now expects this in a range of between 6.50 euros and 6.80 euros.

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