FRANKFURT, March 9 German drugs and lab supplies
maker Merck KGaA forecast stagnant core earnings for
2017 as strong demand for its biotech lab and production
supplies is likely to be offset by competition for its main
Merck said in a statement on Thursday that adjusted earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)
"should remain about stable compared with 2016; this encompasses
a slightly positive or negative percentage fluctuation around
the previous year's level".
Organic sales growth would be slight to moderate, it added.
Merck, which is also the world's largest maker of high-tech
chemicals for display screens, said fourth-quarter adjusted
EBITDA rose 15 percent to 1.08 billion euros ($1.14 billion), in
line with the average estimate by analysts in a Reuters poll.
($1 = 0.9497 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan)