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DSM raises profit outlook despite weak Asian markets

Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM on Tuesday raised its profit outlook for 2019, despite flagging continued weakness in some of its Asian markets.

DSM, whose products range from vitamins and food supplements to plastics and fibres, predicted "high single digit" growth in core profits for the year, after first-quarter earnings beat analysts' expectations with a 14 percent rise to 424 million euros ($475.5 million).

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Despite the upbeat outlook, DSM said some of its markets remained challenging, especially in Asia.

Weak demand from electronics manufacturers and carmakers there, and from construction in both Asia and Europe, drove sales of its Materials division down 3 percent in the first quarter.

Overall, sales increased 3 percent to 2.29 billion euros, excluding a temporary spike in vitamin prices which inflated earnings last year, as revenue of the Nutrition division increased 6 percent.

DSM had previously guided for "mid-to-high single digit" growth in underlying adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), which analysts polled by the company had expected to be 397 million euros in the first three months of 2019.

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