(Adds CEO comment, details on results)
AMSTERDAM, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM on Thursday reported a better-than-expected 10% rise in second-quarter core profit to 438 million euros ($484.1 million), despite weaker demand for its materials in China.
DSM, whose products range from vitamins and food supplements to plastics and fibres, said sales rose 3% to 2.28 billion euros, led by a 7% growth at its nutrition division.
Revenue at the company’s smaller materials business dropped 6%, as slowing economic growth and international trade tensions hurt demand from the Chinese, and European car industry and builders.
“Materials experienced ongoing soft market conditions in some of its end-markets, especially in China”, Chief Executive Officer Feike Sijbesma said.
Strong demand for the company’s Dyneema fibres in Europe, United States and higher selling prices kept the division’s earnings stable, Sijbesma added.
Analysts polled by the company, on average, had expected adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would rise 8% in the second quarter, excluding an incidental spike in vitamin prices which inflated earnings in 2018.
The company reaffirmed its target for high single-digit growth for adjusted EBITDA in 2019. ($1 = 0.9047 euros) (Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)