|By Business Wire||
|August 7, 2013 05:26 AM EDT||
The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA was able to match the strong prior-year level in terms of sales and operating earnings in the first half of 2013. Sales in the first six months of the current business year reached €887 million (prior year: €886 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were at €178 million, compared to €180 million in the first half of 2012. At 20.1 percent, the EBITDA margin also remained at a high level. "We are looking back on a successful first half year, in which we were able to maintain the strong prior-year level, despite the difficult overall economic conditions in Europe," stated Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG.
In contrast to the same period in 2012, ALTANA recorded rising sales volumes in the first six months of the current business year. However, these were offset by negative price/mix and exchange rate effects. Nevertheless, the company again increased its research and development expenses considerably by 8 percent. The Group had already boosted its R&D investments by a double-digit rate in the business year 2012 as a whole. "ALTANA stands for innovation. This is where we are setting standards," said Wolfgruber. "We are committed to investing steadily in the development of new specialty chemicals solutions and applications.“
Growing business with additives and electrical insulating materials
In the first half of 2013, growth was registered by the divisions BYK Additives & Instruments and ELANTAS Electrical Insulation. BYK increased sales by 3 percent, primarily due to acquisitions, with sales up to €335 million on the prior-year figure (€326 million). ELANTAS achieved a growth of 2 percent, with sales up from €211 million to €215 million. By contrast, ECKART Effect Pigments recorded a decline in sales by 5 percent, with sales down to €170 million (prior-year period: €179 million). At €167 million, sales at ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants were 2 percent down on the prior-year level (€171 million).
Asia as growth driver, business in Europe weak
With an increase in sales of 7 percent, business in Asia was very satisfactory in the first half of the year. In China, ALTANA was able to achieve even double-digit growth, with sales up by 13 percent. Sales in North and South America grew by 2 percent compared to the first half of 2012. In Europe, however, sales decreased by 5 percent. This also affected the home market Germany.
ALTANA reaffirms its forecast for the full year and still anticipates a sales growth in the lower single-digit percentage range, with return on sales and capital being about as high as in the previous year. This does not include the expected effects of the acquisition of Rockwood's rheology business.
Key figures at a glance
|ALTANA Group||January to||January to||Change|
|(in € million)||June 2013||June 2012||in %|
|Sales – total||887||886||0|
|Sales by division|
|BYK Additives & Instruments||335||326||3|
|ECKART Effect Pigments||170||179||-5|
|ELANTAS Electrical Insulation||215||211||2|
|ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants||167||171||-2|
|Sales by region|
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)
|Operating income (EBIT)||130||132||-2|
|Earnings before taxes (EBT)||125||127||-2|
|Net income (EAT)||88||90||-2|
|Research and development expenses||55||51||8|
|Headcount (June 30)||5,366||5,348||0|
This press release is also available at www.altana.com/press
ALTANA develops and produces high-quality, innovative products in the specialty chemicals business. The ALTANA Group, with headquarters in Wesel/Germany, is a genuine “global player” with about 85% of its sales generated by international activities. The ALTANA Group has four divisions: BYK Additives & Instruments, ECKART Effect Pigments, ELANTAS Electrical Insulation, and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants. All of these divisions occupy a leading position in their target markets with respect to quality, product solution expertise, innovation and service.
ALTANA offers innovative, environmentally compatible solutions with the matching specialty products for coating manufactures, paint and plastics processors, the printing and cosmetic industries, and the electrical and electronics industry. The product range includes additives, special coatings and adhesives, effect pigments, sealants and compounds, impregnating resins and varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments. At present, the ALTANA Group has 42 production facilities and more than 50 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the group about 5,360 people work to ensure the success of ALTANA worldwide. In 2012, ALTANA achieved sales of more than 1.7 billion euros. Its impressive earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most successful and innovative chemical groups worldwide.