(Updates outlook, adds analyst, shares)
Nov 5 (Reuters) - Evonik Industries met third-quarter profit expectations and said it remains on track for the year despite a slowing German chemicals sector, sending its shares 4% higher on Tuesday.
It expects full-year adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to at least match last year’s 2.15 billion euros ($2.39 billion).
That excludes its methacrylates unit, the maker of plastics for clear acrylic sheet which it sold to buyout group Advent in August.
“We prepared ourselves at an early stage with stricter cost discipline and additional contingency measures for a cooling global economy,” CEO Christian Kullmann said in a statement.
Evonik reported a third-quarter adjusted EBITDA of 543 million euros, down 6% but above the 537 million euros expected by analysts in a company-provided poll.
A programme launched in 2018 to reduce annual administrative and selling expenses by 200 million euros has achieved savings of 20 million euros more than originally planned, it said.
Evonik did lower its sales outlook on Tuesday, saying it now expects a slight fall this year, but that is against a backdrop of a slowing German chemicals sector, Europe’s largest.
Industry association VCI in September cut its outlook for the second time this year, warning of a 6% fall in German chemicals production and a 5% fall in revenue.
“We expect low single-digit consensus upgrades as the company speaks confidently about fourth-quarter earnings being largely locked in and further cost-cutting will support the bottom line,” Bernstein analyst Gunther Zechmann said in a note.
Evonik makes specialty chemicals used in numerous industries and products ranging from amino acids for animal feed to absorbants for diapers.
Its $625 million purchase of bleaching agents maker PeroxyChem does not yet figure in its guidance as the proposed merger has been put on hold by a decision of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and will be negotiated on Jan. 2.
Evonik shares have risen 8.5% this year, lagging peers such as BASF, DSM and Lanxess.
$1 = 0.8984 euros Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; editing by Clarence Fernandez and Jason Neely
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