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Merck KGaA sees currencies supporting 2019 outlook

FILE PHOTO: A logo of drugs and chemicals group Merck KGaA is pictured in Darmstadt, Germany January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Merck KGaA, which is taking over U.S. electronic chemicals maker Versum Materials, said it expected a slight tailwind from foreign exchange effects supporting earnings growth this year.

Merck on Tuesday confirmed its guidance for an underlying increase of 10-13% in 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and adjusted for one-off items but now sees a positive effect of 0% to +2% from currencies.

It had previously seen a 3-4% drag from foreign exchange effects.

First-quarter EBITDA, adjusted for special items, slipped 4% to 929 million euros (806 million pounds), below the average analyst estimate of 944 million in a Reuters poll.