Merck KGaA reported that Its fiscal 2018 net income grew 29.5 percent to 3.37 billion euros from 2.61 billion euros last year.
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Earnings per share rose to 7.76 euros from 5.99 euros a year ago. Merck KGaA that the prior year's results have been adjusted.
The increase in net income was particularly owing to the gain on the divestment of the Consumer Health business.
Earnings per share pre declined 13.9 percent to 5.10 euros from 5.92 euros in the prior year.
EBITDA for the year declined 15.3 percent from the year-ago period to 3.53 billion euros. EBITDA pre, Merck KGaA's most important earnings indicator, decreased 10.5 percent to 3.8 billion euros, reflecting negative foreign exchange effects of 8.9 percent.
However, net sales for the year increased 2 percent to 14.84 billion euros from last year's 14.52 billion euros.
Merck KGaA noted that all three business sectors and all regions contributed to the strong organic sales growth of 6.1 percent. This was amid negative exchange rate effects of negative 3.9 percent, primarily attributable to the weakening of the U.S. dollar against the euro as well as significant declines in the value of Latin American currencies.
Further, Merck KGaA said that for 2018, it will propose to the Annual General Meeting on April 26, 2019 a dividend of 1.25 euros per share, the same amount as in the previous year.
Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, Merck KGaA expects moderate organic growth of Group sales in comparison with 2018. Merck KGaA noted that owing to exchange rate developments in multiple growth markets, a slightly negative exchange rate effect of -1 percent to -2 percent should result in comparison with the previous year.
For EBITDA pre in 2019, Merck KGaA expects a pronounced organic percentage growth in the low-teens range in comparison with 2018. The expected foreign exchange development is likely to lower EBITDA pre by between -3 percent and -4 percent compared with 2018. ■
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