November 5, 2019 / 6:54 AM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-Chemical maker DSM's profit climbs despite weak China demand

(Adds CEO quote, details on results, background)

AMSTERDAM, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM on Tuesday reported a 9% increase in its third-quarter core profit to 426 million euros ($474 million), despite ongoing weak demand for its materials in China.

Revenue inched up 1% to 2.29 billion euros, as a 4% increase in sales from nutritional products such as vitamins and animal feed was almost completely offset by lower demand for plastics and other materials in the automotive and construction industries.

“Nutrition delivered a good performance despite some softness in human nutrition, (while) Materials experienced ongoing challenging conditions in some of its end-markets, especially in China,” Chief Executive Feike Sijbesma said.

DSM said demand from electronics makers in Asia seemed to have bottomed out in the quarter, while business conditions in the auto industry and building sectors remained weak - in China, but also in Europe and the United States.

The company has been reporting weak demand in China throughout the year, but Sijbesma said in August he did not expect conditions to worsen further.

The 5% drop in sales from materials in the third quarter, however, was a bit larger than the decline in the first six months of the year, while revenue growth from nutrition remained stable.

DSM’s results were in line with analysts’ expectations and the company maintained its outlook for a high single-digit increase in adjusted EBITDA in 2019.

$1 = 0.8988 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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