March 6, 2018 / 8:31 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Eurofins raises 2018 revenue target as expansion accelerates

(Adds details, background)

March 6 (Reuters) - Eurofins raised its 2018 revenue target on Tuesday after a record number of acquisitions and an accelerating laboratory start-up programme helped the food and pharmaceutical testing company beat its 2017 targets.

The company has been expanding rapidly, with 60 acquisitions and 30 laboratory start-ups in 2017.

“We have substantially surpassed our annual M&A revenue objective of 200 million euros and our initial plan to open 20 laboratories in 2017,” Chief Executive Dr Gilles Martin said in a statement.

In 2017, the company reported a record investment of about 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in acquisitions and expanded in five new countries.

Shares in the company opened up 5.1 percent on the Paris stock exchange.

It is now targeting 2018 revenue of 3.7 billion euros and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 700 million euros.

In October, the company said it was targeting 2018 revenue of 3.6 billion euros.

For 2017, the company reported organic revenue growth of close to 6 percent, above its annual objective of 5 percent.

Full-year adjusted EBITDA came in at 557 million euros, above the company’s target of 550 million euros.

The company is proposing an increase of 20 percent in its annual dividend to 2.40 euros per share.

$1 = 0.8103 euros Reporting by Charlotte Steenackers; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter

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