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Albemarle first-quarter profit rises, but lithium sales slip

May 8 (Reuters) - Albemarle Corp, the world's largest producer of lithium used to make electric vehicle batteries, posted a slight rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday as sales of flame retardant chemicals offset a dip in lithium sales.

The company posted first-quarter net income of $133.6 million, or $1.26 per share, compared to $131.8 million, or $1.18, in the year-ago period. Albemarle confirmed its 2019 sales forecast of $3.65 to $3.85 billion, in what would be an 8 percent to 14 percent increase from 2018 levels. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder Editing by Susan Thomas)