February 25, 2019 / 6:06 AM / 4 months ago

Covestro says 2019 EBITDA could halve as competition heats up

FRANKFURT, Feb 25 (Reuters) - German chemicals maker Covestro said its 2019 core earnings could fall to as little as half of last year’s level as rivals removed production bottlenecks.

The former Bayer subsidiary said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would come in at between 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) and 2.0 billion euros, down from 3.2 billion in 2018.

“The last two years were marked by unusually high margins. For 2019, we expect demand to continue to grow, however margins will drop significantly due to competitive pressure,” said finance chief Thomas Toepfer.

Fourth quarter EBITDA plunged by two thirds to 293 million euros, less than the 314 million expected on average by analysts in a Reuters poll.

$1 = 0.8819 euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Thomas Seythal

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