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Merck KGaA Q2 earnings drop 5.6% YOY partly on rising healthcare segment costs

Merck KGaA's second-quarter pre-exceptional EBITDA fell 5.6% year over year to €1.09 billion partly due to rising expenses in the healthcare business.

The German pharmaceutical company's pre-exceptional EPS edged down to €1.54 from €1.55 in the year-ago period.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the second quarter was €1.55.

Pre-exceptional EBITDA for the healthcare segment dropped 13.8% to €480 million, mainly due to higher marketing expenses following drug launches and rise in research and development costs.

However, the life science business saw pre-exceptional EBITDA rise 9% year over year to €454 million, supported by continued demand from the biopharmaceutical industry.

The company reported second-quarter group EBIT of €628 million, up 14% year over year from €550 million. Net income for the quarter rose to €421 million from €312 million.

The company confirmed its forecast for fiscal year 2017, with the group pre-exceptional EBITDA seen between €4.4 billion and €4.6 billion, and pre-exceptional EPS between €6.15 and €6.50.

However, citing new exchange rate expectations, full year sales guidance was cut to between €15.3 billion and €15.7 billion, from €15.5 billion and €16 billion, announced earlier.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for 2017 is €6.24.