Brenntag Declines as Profit-Sapping Market Doldrums to Continue

Brenntag AG, the world’s largest distributor of chemicals, dropped the most in three years in Frankfurt trading after profit missed analysts’ estimates.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization declined 4 percent to 164.7 million euros ($216 million) in the first quarter, the company said today. That missed analysts’ average estimate of 181.5 million euros, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company said it assumes there will no “no recovery in the overall economic environment” this year. The shares fell as much as 7.8 percent.

“The global economic situation is even more demanding and economic development is still muted,” Chief Executive Officer Steven Holland said in the release. “Our sales performance should be understood in light of these factors and the fact that the first quarter had considerably fewer working days than the same period of the previous year.”

Brenntag, based in Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany, said it’s budgeting for slower growth this year. While the company is benefiting from expansion in Asia Pacific as well as Latin America and acquisitions in markets from New Zealand to the U.S., it’s facing stagnant sales closer to home as Europe’s economy struggles to recover.

Brenntag shares dropped as much as 10.15 euros to 120.75 euros, the biggest intraday drop since May 2010, and were down 6.6 percent at 122.3 euros as of 10:03 a.m.

Sales rose 1.4 percent to 2.42 billion euros, missing analysts’ average estimate of 2.5 billion euros.

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