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Wacker Chemie sticks with profit guidance despite sales boost

The logo of Wacker Chemie AG is seen at its manufacturing plant in the south-east Bavarian town of Burghausen

(Reuters) - German chemicals company Wacker Chemie AG stuck with its full-year core earnings guidance on Thursday, disappointing investors' hopes for an upgrade even as it raised its 2022 sales estimates on the back of higher prices.

The company's shares were down 4% at 0820 GMT.

Wacker reported first-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 643.7 million euros ($678.5 million), beating a company-provided consensus forecast of 595.9 million euros.

It also said it expected full-year EBITDA to trend towards the upper end of its guidance range of 1.2-1.5 billion euros.

However, analysts' consensus forecast of 1.54 billion euros is already slightly above that range.

"At the second glance, the main deviation came from the Siltronic contribution in the 'others' line and therefore the underlying Q1 of the core divisions are as expected by the market," Baader Helvea analysts said in a note, referring to Wacker's 30% stake in Siltronic.

The market had expected an increase to EBITDA guidance, they added.

Faced with rising energy costs and disrupted supply chains, chemical companies including Lanxess and Evonik - which also beat quarterly expectations - are passing on higher costs to customers.

Boosted by higher prices, Wacker raised its 2022 sales outlook to about 7.5 billion euros from 7 billion.

"Our growth strategy ... contributes substantially to strengthening Wacker's resilience and ensuring that it remains robust in the face of current macroeconomic challenges," Chief Executive Officer Christian Hartel said.

In March, the company said the direct impact on its volumes from the conflict in Ukraine would be limited as Commonwealth of Independent States countries combined make up less than 2% of Wacker's sales.

($1 = 0.9509 euros)

(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; Additional reporting by Antonis Pothitos; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Mark Potter)