By Ludwig Burger
FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Covestro said it incurred an unexpected net loss of 300 million euros ($324 million) last year, hurt by write-downs on European chemical plants.
The German chemicals maker said in a statement on Friday that analysts on average had expected net income of 420 million euros for the year, prompting the company to issue an unscheduled release of preliminary earnings ahead of full results to be published on March 2.
The group said it booked an extraordinary depreciation of assets of about 470 million euros, sending its shares down 1.4% in late trading after the official market close in Frankfurt.
A spokesperson said the book value of some established European plants had to be cut as higher energy costs in Europe weighed on their earnings prospects, declining to comment further.
Deferred tax assets had to be adjusted by about 250 million euros, the statement added.
Larger rival BASF has also pointed to European markets as lagging other regions, saying in October that it would cut back European operations because of a triple burden of sluggish growth, high energy costs and over-regulation.
($1 = 0.9253 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)