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DSM Fourth-Quarter Earnings Rise on Baby-Food Ingredients

Royal DSM NV, the world’s largest maker of vitamins, reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, helped by the acquisition of baby-food ingredient maker Martek Biosciences.

Earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation from continuing operations increased to 293 million euros ($395 million) from 276 million euros a year earlier, the Heerlen, Netherlands-based company said in a statement today. Analysts predicted 284 million euros, on average. Sales increased to 2.22 billion euros from 2.08 billion euros.

The company said it is on track to achieve its 2013 target of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 1.4 billion euros to 1.6 billion euros. Chief Executive Officer Feike Sijbesma has transformed DSM into a maker of enzymes, specialty plastics and nutritional supplements, dropping commodity-chemical products by making disposals. DSM bought baby-food ingredient maker Martek Biosciences last year and recently announced a joint venture with Poet LLC to produce cellulosic ethanol.

“We are conscious that risks to the macro-economic global outlook remain, and that weakness in some of our end markets, especially building and construction, persists,” said in a statement today.

The company proposes dividend of 1.45 euros per share for 2011, up 10 cents from a year earlier.

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