12 May 2021 | Wednesday | Company results
Group sales increased by 6.0% to € 4.6 billion compared with the year-earlier quarter.
Results of Q1 2021
Outlook for fiscal 2021
Merck, a leading science and technology company, achieved strong business results in the first quarter. Group sales increased by 6.0% to € 4.6 billion compared with the year-earlier quarter – mainly thanks to the high organic growth of the Life Science business sector. Group EBITDA pre, the company’s most important financial indicator used to steer operating business, soared by 27.9% to € 1.5 billion in comparison with the year-earlier quarter. As already communicated on May 4, 2021, the company is raising its forecast for fiscal 2021. Merck expects Group sales in a range between € 18.5 billion and € 19.5 billion and forecasts EBITDA pre of between € 5.4 billion and € 5.8 billion.
“In the first quarter, we demonstrated great strength in a challenging market environment. Our businesses are shaping the future of science and technology in high-growth markets. This company is poised for sustainable growth, and we will continue to deliver outstanding results for patients, researchers and customers worldwide,” emphasized Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck.
Organic growth driven by all three business sectors
Organically, sales increased by 12.2%, to which all three business sectors contributed. This growth was offset by negative foreign exchange effects of -5.8%, which were primarily attributable to the U.S. dollar, the Brazilian real and the Japanese yen. Portfolio changes lowered Group net sales by -0.4%.
Organic growth of EBITDA pre amounting to 36.3% was offset by negative foreign exchange effects of -8.3%. Relative to net sales, the EBITDA pre margin was 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021. The operating result EBIT rose by 45.7% to € 1.0 billion; Group net income increased by 63.7% to € 747 million. Earnings per share pre soared by 45.3% to € 2.18. In the first three months of 2021, net financial debt decreased by -6.3% to € 10.1 billion.