By Kim Richters 
 

Merck KGaA said Thursday that net profit in its first quarter rose, but it lowered its view for the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The German pharmaceuticals and chemicals company had a net profit of 456 million euros ($494.3 million) in the period, up from EUR189 million a year earlier.

Net sales rose 16.7% to EUR4.37 billion, driven by all business segments, Merck said.

The closely watched company metric Ebitda pre--or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization before one-time items--was EUR1.18 billion for the quarter, up from EUR929 million a year ago.

Analysts had expected net sales of EUR4.18 billion and Ebitda pre of EUR1.13 billion, according to consensus expectations provided by Vara Research.

The pandemic had a "moderate" effect on business in 1Q, but it expects this to increase in the next months, it said.

The company therefore lowered its 2020 view. It now expects a slight to moderate organic increase in net sales to between EUR16.8 billion and EUR17.8 billion. It expects Ebitda pre to see a stable organic development and be between EUR4.35 billion and EUR4.85 billion. It had previously guided for strong organic growth for Ebitda pre and solid organic growth for sales.

 

Write to Kim Richters at kim.richters@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 14, 2020 01:55 ET (05:55 GMT)

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