April 25, 2018 / 10:48 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's Mexichem posts higher profit, boosted by vinyl

(Adds details from results, context)

MEXICO CITY, April 25 (Reuters) - Mexican chemicals and plastic pipe maker Mexichem posted a 52 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, compared to the year-earlier quarter, boosted by higher profitability in its vinyl unit.

The company said its net profit jumped to $78.9 million in the quarter, compared to $51.9 million in the first three months of 2017.

It is vinyl products unit earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rise 81 percent, partly thanks to better conditions in the PVC market, the company said.

Revenue rose to $1.76 billion from $1.39 billion a year earlier.

The company, which set ambitious growth targets for 2018, has seen its shares rise by almost one-fifth so far this year.

Those targets are partly because of its recently-closed purchase of Israeli drip irrigation pioneer Netafim, which hopes to see its earnings rise 50 percent by 2020.

Most analysts have a buy rating on Mexichem, according to Thomson Reuters data. (Reporting by Christine Murray, editing by G Crosse)

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