Earnings

DSM fourth-quarter core profit rises 3 percent, narrowly beats estimates

CNBC.com with Reuters
Key Points
  • Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM on Thursday narrowly beat analysts' expectations.
  • DSM reported a 3 percent rise in fourth-quarter core profit.
  • It also said it would buy back 1 billion euros worth its own shares.
VIDEO3:1703:17
2018 was a record year for DSM, CEO says

Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM on Thursday narrowly beat analysts' expectations with a 3 percent rise in fourth-quarter core profit, at 370 million euros ($417.1 million), and said it would buy back 1 billion euros worth its own shares.

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.

"We overdelivered on all of our targets… and, therefore on that basis of how we have performed, we look positive in 2019," DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Thursday.

"I think we realise the uncertain economic environment (and) we are well positioned in that environment."

'Pleased' to offer a share buyback

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.

Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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

When asked why DSM had decided to buy back 1 billion euros worth of its own shares, Sijbesma replied: "We are in fact pleased that we are so well positioned that we can announce such a share buyback."

"It does not mean that we have no room anymore for acquisitions," he added.