February 14, 2019 / 6:38 AM / 2 days ago

UPDATE 1-DSM to buy back $1.1 billion in shares as Q4 profit beats

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AMSTERDAM, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM said on Thursday it would buy back 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) in shares, as its fourth-quarter core profit topped expectations.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 3 percent to 370 million euros in the three months ended Dec. 31, while analysts in a Reuters poll had expected it to remain virtually flat at 362 million euros.

DSM, whose products range from vitamins and food supplements to plastics and fibre, said sales rose 1 percent to 2.2 billion euros, lifted by a slight growth in its nutrition division.

Revenue at its smaller materials division was lean, as destocking by clients led to lower sales of engineering plastics and resins.

The Dutch company’s adjusted EBITDA surged 26 percent overall in 2018, in line with its own expectations, boosted by supply problems at competitor BASF, which caused a spike in important vitamin prices in the first nine months of the year.

The company expects “mid-to-high single-digit growth” for its core profit this year.

$1 = 0.8870 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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