Merck profits rise on liquid crystal sales

Image caption,
Merck also said it was increasing its revenue outlook

German drugs and chemicals firm Merck has reported a net profit of 632m euros (£532m) for 2010, up from 366m euros a year earlier, thanks to sales of its highly profitable liquid crystals.

Liquid crystals are used in flat screen televisions and tablet PCs.

Earnings were also boosted by revenue from newly-acquired biosciences firm Millipore.

Fourth quarter net-profit was 46.5m euros, down from 56.7m euros in the same quarter in the previous year.

The fall in fourth-quarter profit was due to a settlement reached with the US Department of Justice over former subsidiary Dey Inc., which allegedly reported false price information.

Merck also said it was increasing its revenue outlook for 2011.

"With Millipore included for the full year, we expect group 2011 revenues will grow 13% to 18% and the operating result will rise by 35% to 45%," said chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley.

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