Merck registers effects of COVID-19 pandemic in all business sectors

Source: MohamadFaisal – stock.adobe.com

Merck registered the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in all business sectors in the second quarter. Healthcare and Performance Materials were affected most strongly. In comparison with the year-earlier quarter, group sales increased by 3.7 % to EUR 4.1 billion. EBITDA pre, the group’s most important earnings indicator, fell by -5.7 % to EUR 1.1 billion in the second quarter.

Irrespective of this, the company specified its sales forecast for fiscal 2020 and now expects group sales of between EUR 16.9 billion and EUR 17.7 billion. In addition, the company has raised the lower end of the range for expected EBITDA pre and now forecasts a value between EUR 4.45 billion and EUR 4.85 billion. Merck also specified its forecast for earnings per share pre, which it now expects in a corridor between EUR 5.60 and EUR 6.25.

The 3.7 % year-on-year increase in group sales in the second quarter primarily reflects acquisition-related growth in the Performance Materials business sector and organic growth in Life Science. Group-wide, net sales decreased organically by -2.5 %, mainly due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Negative foreign exchange effects lowered Group sales by -0.9 %. Group sales rose by 7.1 % due to portfolio changes. EBITDA pre declined by -5.7 % to EUR 1.1 billion in the second quarter. The organic decline amounted to -11.5 %, among other things attributable to income from milestone payments in Healthcare in the year-earlier quarter.

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