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AMSTERDAM Jan 21 (Reuters) - Dutch food and chemicals group DSM fell short of its target for full-year core earnings due to weakness in its nutrition business and adverse exchange rates and said it expects this year to remain tough.
Preliminary earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 20 percent to 1.31 billion euros ($1.78 billion) but short of a target of 1.4 billion which it had reiterated as recently as November.
"DSM assumes a continued challenging macroeconomic environment, with low growth in Europe, modest growth in the U.S., and a slowdown in the high-growth economies," it said in a statement.
It said it would aim to "improve its business performance to at least offset the negative currency impact of an estimated 70 million euros at current exchange rates."
DSM, which is due to announce its full-year results on Feb. 26, said it had been particularly hard hit by the strength of the euro against most currencies, the weakness of the yen, and sharp moves in the currencies of several emerging markets including Brazil and India.
It said that its nutrition business, an area where it has expanded in order to generate more stable earnings, had been affected by weaker demand for dietary supplements. (Reporting by Sara Webb; editing by Mark Potter and Jason Neely)