Viscofan upbeat on 2019 guidance despite third consecutive miss

(Reuters) - Spanish sausage casing producer Viscofan reported a 1.2 percent drop in its full-year core profit, hit by higher raw materials and energy costs, associated mainly with the start-up of a new plant in Spain, it said on Thursday.

Viscofan issued a profit warning in October, but failed to meet its own guidance for the third year in a row.

It posted 2018 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 208.6 million euros (179 million pounds), down 1.2 percent, missing its own expectations of 2-5 percent growth.

For 2019, Viscofan expects core profit growth of 10-13 percent, net profit gains of 8-14 percent and top line growth of 6-8 percent.

It also plans to reduce its capital expenditure by 15 percent to 60 million euros.

Reporting by Anita Kobylinska; Editing by Alexandra Hudson