Clariant achieves sales target after third quarter

Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, posts increased third quarter 2013 sales of CHF 1.443 billion against CHF 1.489 billion in the prior-year period, This corresponding to a 2% sales growth in local currencies that was almost entirely the result of higher sales volumes. In Swiss francs, sales decreased 3%, due to the pronounced weakness of the Brazilian real, the Japanese yen and the Indian rupee against the Swiss franc.

The firm reports that the economic environment remained challenging and basically unchanged compared to the first six months. All its Business Areas with the exception of Catalysis & Energy achieved local currency sales growth in the low to mid single-digit range. Care Chemicals outperformed the other Business Areas, adding 5% in sales year-on-year, with all segments and regions contributing to growth. Natural Resources managed to increase sales by 3%. Good growth in Adsorbents, Mining Services and Refinery Services outweighed a weaker Water Treatment and a temporarily softer Oil Services business. In Catalysis & Energy, Catalysts had faced some delays in its Asian projects. The situation is expected to gradually improve during the fourth quarter. The startup business Energy Storage did not improve compared to the previous quarters. Sales in Plastics & Coatings recovered from the weak prior-year period, achieving 4% growth.

Meanwhile, the company has gained this year from its move of repositioning its portfolio in 2011 and 2012, as reflected in an increase in EBITDA margin in the first nine months of the year and the third quarter of 2013 compared to the corresponding previous-year periods.

Clariant observes that the mature markets have somewhat stabilised but a broad-based economic recovery is not expected. In addition, uncertainties remain high in the emerging economies, it says. Going into the fourth quarter, Clariant expects an overall stable but mixed business environment.

Overall this year, Clariant expects further progress in sales and profitability compared to 2012 by focusing on innovation, growth and continuous cost efficiency.


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