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Merck KGaA: meets 2019 targets despite 'adverse' environment

( - German drugs and chemicals maker Merck said that it has met all its financial targets in 2019, prompting a rise in its share price in Frankfurt on Thursday morning.

The Darmstadt-based company said that it has achieved growth in all key performance indicators last year, namely sales, operating profit and EPS.

Group sales increased by 9% to 16.2 billion euros in 2019, despite an "adverse environment," the group said, while operating profit (EBITDA pre) rose by 15% to 4.4 billion euros.

Earnings per share "pre" rose to 5.56 euros, it added.

Merck has also lifted its dividend proposal to 1.30 euro per share and said it expects "solid" organic sales growth and "strong" organic growth of Ebitda "pre".

The stock was one of the few risers on Frankfurt's DAX index this morning, up almost 3%.

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