LANXESS reports strong results for 2012

German specialty chemicals company Lanxess has announced strong figures for the past fiscal year, with improvements in key reported numbers. “2012 was the best year in our growth story so far. Our business model proved itself once again,” said LANXESS’ Chairman of the Board of Management, Axel C. Heitmann, at the Annual Press Conference in Dusseldorf.

According to the preliminary results for 2012 that it recently published, its group sales grew by 4% in fiscal 2012 to EUR9,094 million. Business development was driven notably by the focus on emerging markets, solid demand for agrochemicals, pleasing contributions from acquisitions and the price-before-volume strategy.

The employees will also benefit from the strong earnings, receiving some EUR115 million in profit-sharing payouts for the year. This figure compares to about EUR 100 million for 2011.

In the Asia-Pacific region, aales grew by about 10% to about EUR 2.2 billion. In Greater China (Hong Kong, China, Taiwan), the EUR 1 billion sales threshold was exceeded for the first time. Business in North America also gained strongly, with sales advancing by more than 10% to roughly EUR1.6 billion. The EMEA region (Europe excluding Germany, Middle East, Africa) – with sales of EUR2.5 billion – once again accounted for the largest share of Lanxess sales, although business in this region showed a slight decline of just under 1%. In Germany, sales rose slightly to approximately EUR1.6 billion. In the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), sales moved forward by 1 percent year-on-year to nearly EUR2.2 billion.

Meanwhile, other business segments of Lanxess, including Performance Polymers, Advanced Intermediates, and Performance Chemicals also posted increased sales.

In 2012, Lanxess had sales of approximately EUR1.6 billion with products and technologies for “Green Mobility”, which accounted for some 17% of overall sales. The company expects to achieve sales of some EUR2.7 billion in sales from “Green Mobility” by 2015.

The good business development led to a strong operating cash flow, as well as a sound balance sheet. Capital expenditures grew to EUR696 million, compared with EUR679 million a year prior. Operating cash flow showed a positive development in 2012. Despite an increase in working capital, this key indicator improved from EUR672 million to EUR 838 million.

“Net financial liabilities declined by EUR32 million year-on-year to EUR1,483 million at the end of the year despite acquisitions and increased investment activity,” explained Lanxess Chief Financial Officer Bernhard Duettmann.

The ratio of net financial liabilities to EBITDA pre exceptionals fell from 1.3 to 1.2. “This underlines our conservative financial policy, which is characterised by long-term financing and far-sighted steering of financial risks,” he added.

The company, which is transferring its headquarters to Cologne, expects to cope from the modest business outcome from the first quarter of the year; and i this persistently volatile environment, Lanxess said that it will continue to focus on cost discipline and its proven flexible asset management and expects a pick-up in demand in the second half of the year, so that the full year 2013 can develop into another positive one. For the current year, it is planning capital expenditures of some EUR650 million to EUR700 million. Research and development expenditures are expected to grow by about 10% in 2013 from EUR192 million in the previous year.

The megatrend of mobility remains intact. The company believes the agrochemical end markets will continue to develop positively, particularly in Asia, whilst it expects a moderate recovery in the construction industry, with growth occurring mainly in Asia and Latin America. Even assuming a slow pace of economic growth, the Group aims to strengthen its market positions, especially in the BRICS countries.

New capacities coming on stream during the year will contribute to growth in all three segments. “The new butyl rubber plant in Singapore – our biggest capital expenditure project so far, at some EUR 400 million – has started up in the first quarter and will begin commercial production in the third quarter as planned,” said Heitmann. In addition, Lanxess will start up a new leather chemicals facility in China in April. At the beginning of March, a new project for high-performance rubbers used in “Green Tires” was initiated in Brazil.


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