Merck KGaA brings forward targets after successful Q1
German chemicals and pharmaceuticals group Merck KGaA said on Tuesday it aims to achieve its 2014 goals as early as this year "following a successful start" to 2013.
"Based on ... the good business developments in terms of both sales and earnings in the past months, we assume that the guidance for 2014 will be achieved in 2013, meaning one year earlier than expected," Merck said in a statement.
"Merck got off to a solid and profitable start in 2013 with all four divisions contributing to our organic sales growth," boasted chief executive Karl-Ludwig Kley.
The group was also making "excellent progress" in its cost-cutting programme, as could be seen in its sharp rise in underlying profits in the first quarter, Kley said.
Underlying or operating profit grew by 18.8 percent to 801.1 million euros ($1.0 billion) in the period from January to March and net profit was up by as much as 54.1 percent at 266 million euros on a 4.4-percent increase in revenues to 2.76 billion euros.
Kley said Merck projected underlying or operating profit to exceed 3.0 billion euros by the year-end.
© 2013 AFP