UPDATE 1-DSM Q3 core profit beats as demand for materials improves

(Adds CEO quotes, more detail)

AMSTERDAM, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM on Tuesday beat analysts’ expectations for third-quarter core profit, as industrial demand for its plastics, fibres and other materials recovered from a coronavirus-driven slump.

DSM said, however, sales fell 4% year-on-year to 1.96 billion euros ($2.28 billion) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, led by a 17% decrease in its materials division.

Revenue at the larger nutrition division remained stable, as the pandemic fuelled demand for DSM’s vitamins and other food supplements.

“Conditions were overall good in Nutrition, with momentum in Materials improving,” co-Chief Executive Officers Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze said in a statement.

“Materials, whilst still impacted by COVID-19, showed an improving volume trend relative to the prior quarter, especially in September.”

The recent surge in COVID-19 patients, however, make it impossible to say whether this improvement will last, DSM said, as it declined to give an outlook for its full-year results.

The company posted a 1% drop on-year in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to 383 million euros for the quarter.

Analysts polled by the company on average had predicted adjusted EBITDA of 369 million euros on 2.01 billion euros of sales. ($1 = 0.8580 euros) (Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Kim Coghill and Rashmi Aich)