• Sees full-year ebitda of 930 million euros to 970 million
  • Chief Zachert says ‘very optimistic’ about second half

Lanxess AG raised its guidance for 2016 after cost cuts and demand for a crucial drug ingredient to combat the Zika virus helped second-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.

The chemical and synthetic rubber maker expects profit of 930 million euros ($1.04 billion) to 970 million euros, it said in a statement on Wednesday. It had earlier forecast maximum profit of 950 million euros.

Having placed Lanxess’ synthetic rubber business into a joint venture with Saudi Aramco, Chief Executive Officer Matthias Zachert now has the task of building a new identity for the company. The Cologne, Germany-based company saw a surge in demand for icaridin, an active ingredient used in insect repellents, because of the spread of the Zika virus, highlighting the value of its specialty chemical business, Saltigo.

“This shows that our realignment has enabled us to create a powerful and efficient organization and that we are operating in the right markets with the right products,” Zachert said in the release. “We are very optimistic for the second half.”

Lanxess reported second quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 293 million euros. Analysts had predicted 285.8 million euros, on average, according to a Bloomberg survey.

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