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Merck KGaA: 2017 outlook confirmed, despite headwinds.

(CercleFinance.com) - Germany's Merck KGaA on Thursday confirmed its outlook for 2017, despite what was considered as a "challenging" third quarter.

At 3.7 billion euros, in third-quarter group sales remained broadly flat year-on-year (+0.1%), while adjusted EBITDA fell by 8% to 1.07 billion euros, in line with the consensus.

"There are no major surprises in this publication, which confirms what the group previously announced at its capital markets day: a healthacre margin that is contracting during periods of new product launches, coupled with pressure on the franchise in performance materials, analysts at Parisian broker Invest Securities said this morning.

Despite the strength of the euro, Merck confirmed its full-year guidance for net sales of between 15.3 billion and 15.7 billion euros, with EBITDA before extraordinary items of between 4.4 billion and 4.6 billion euros.

Merck KGaA shares are currently up 0.2% at 92.6 euros, against a Germany's blue-chip DAX index, which is pretty flat.

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