By Adria Calatayud

Germany's Merck KGaA confirmed and detailed its guidance for 2024 after it reported lower sales and earnings for the first quarter, hit by inventory reductions at its life-science segment.

The life-sciences and electronics company said Wednesday that it expects full-year organic sales growth to range from 1% to 5% at the net sales level and to range from 1% to 7% in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and one-time items, the company's preferred profitability metric.

It had previously guided for a gradual return to organic growth in both metrics this year.

Full-year net sales are expected to come in at 20.6 billion to 22.1 billion euros ($22.29 billion-$23.91 billion), while Ebitda before one-time items is forecast at EUR5.7 billion to EUR6.3 billion, Merck said.

For the first quarter, Merck reported an after-tax profit of EUR699 million compared with EUR800 million in the year-earlier period. Net sales dropped 3.3% to EUR5.12 billion, with a 1.2% decline organically.

Ebitda before one-time items for the quarter fell 8.4% to EUR1.45 billion.

Analysts expected Merck to report first-quarter Ebitda before exceptional items of EUR1.36 billion on net sales of EUR5.10 billion, according to consensus estimates compiled by Vara Research.

Write to Adria Calatayud at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-15-24 0129ET