Merck KGaA Q1 earnings down on liquid crystals, currencies

FRANKFURT, May 15 (Reuters) – Germany’s Merck KGaA saw earnings decline in the first quarter, hurt by Chinese competition in liquid crystals used in flat screens and a strong euro weighing on the value of overseas sales.

Merck on Tuesday reported 1.02 billion euros ($1.22 billion) in first quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), down 18.2 percent and in line with market expectations.

The chemicals and drugs maker said it expected adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations of between 3.75 billion 4.0 billion euros in 2018, excluding the consumer healthcare unit it has agreed to sell to Procter & Gamble . (Reporting by Ludwig Burger Editing by Edward Taylor)

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