Merck KGaA confirms outlook, aims for lower debt

Merck KGaA on Wednesday backed its outlook for the full year, and said it is currently focusing on organic growth and lowering its debt.

The pharmaceuticals and chemicals company continues to expect slight to moderate organic growth in full-year net sales and Ebitda pre, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization before one-time items.

This equates to sales of 16.9 billion to 17.7 billion euros ($20.02 billion-$20.97 billion) and Ebitda pre of EUR4.45 billion to EUR4.85 billion.

As for its health-care core business, Merck confirmed its target of around EUR2 billion in own pipeline sales by 2022.

For its life-science business, Merck forecasts 6% to 9% average yearly organic sales growth in the medium term.

The company said it is currently prioritizing organic growth and lowering its debt until 2022.

While it won’t rule out “large transformative deals” from 2022 onward, Merck said it is likelier to make “a number of smaller to medium-sized acquisitions.”

Write to Kim Richters at [email protected]

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