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Solvay posts decline in profit and sales

Solvay SA on Wednesday posted a decline in net profit and sales in the first quarter, and said it expects underlying earnings for the full year to be higher compared with 2020.

The Belgian chemical company posted a net profit of 104 million euros ($124.9 million) for the quarter, down from EUR249 million the year prior. Its underlying net profit, which is adjusted for effects like acquisitions, rose 1.8% in the quarter to EUR240 million, beating analysts' expectations of EUR190 million, according to consensus estimates provided by the company.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to EUR414 million from EUR485 million the previous year.

Net sales for the period fell 4.1% to EUR2.37 billion, mainly due to a 5.9% negative impact from currency and scope, the company said. Sales were up sequentially for the third quarter, "showing improving market conditions across most businesses, especially in automotive, electronics, mining and construction industries," it said.

For 2021, Solvay expects underlying Ebitda between EUR2.0 billion and EUR2.2 billion as well as free cash flow at around EUR650 million, up from a previous forecast of between EUR600 million and EUR650 million. In 2020, its underlying Ebitda was EUR1.95 billion.

Write to Kim Richters at [email protected]

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