May 3, 2016 / 6:07 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Solvay cuts costs to beat analysts' estimates in Q1

(Adds details on unit performance)

BRUSSELS, May 3 (Reuters) - Solvay reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on Tuesday, as cost cuts offset the slightly lower prices offered by the Belgian chemicals group to its customers.

For the group as a whole, underlying core profit (EBITDA) rose 2 percent in the first quarter to 602 million euros ($694.35 million), above the 585 million euros expected in a Reuters poll of seven analysts.

Profit margins grew the most in Solvay’s Performance Chemicals unit, which makes soda ash for glass, and its Functional Polymers unit, which makes products for the car industry.

Solvay said it had partially passed on lower raw material prices to customers but this was more than offset by savings in energy and logistics.

The group repeated its outlook for high-single digit EBITDA growth in 2016.

Separately, the group said it had agreed to sell its stake in Solvay Indupa, a unit with factories in Argentina and Brazil, to Brazilian group Unipar Carbocloro.

The transaction was based on an enterprise value of $202.2 million, Solvay added. ($1 = 0.8670 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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