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Good performance of Industrial Chemicals at Arkema
May '12
The Board of Directors of Arkema met on May 9th 2012 to review the consolidated accounts of Arkema for 1st quarter 2012.

At the end of the meeting, Thierry Le Hénaff, Chairman and CEO of Arkema, stated:

"First quarter results represent by far the second best performance recorded in a first quarter by our Group. They confirm the recovery of demand following the destocking seen in 2nd half 2011, even though not at the same level as at the beginning of 2011 when particularly favorable market conditions prevailed. The results of the Performance Products segment, with a 19% EBITDA margin, are a great satisfaction, reflecting the refocusing of this business segment on high added value technological niches such as specialty polyamides and fluorinated polymers.”

“Industrial Chemicals show a significant improvement compared to the last quarter of last year, albeit below the very high base of the same quarter in 2011, as expected. Despite the uncertainties of the general macro-economic environment, the fundamentals that drive Arkema's performance are favorable, in particular ongoing growth in emerging countries and as many opportunities as ever in the major trends related to sustainable development, in particular new energies, lighter vehicles, and biosourced materials.”

As a project to divest the Vinyl activities was ongoing at the close of this quarter, the contribution of this business has been presented in accordance with IFRS 5 rules and terms. Income statement items and balance sheet items for this business have been presented on a separate line in the income statement and the balance sheet. However, the cash flow statement includes flows related to these Vinyl activities.

Sales in 1st quarter 2012 increased by 14% to €1,623 million. This significant increase mainly reflects the acquisition of specialty resins (Sartomer and Cray Valley), alcoxylates from Seppic, and, to a lesser extent, Chinese companies Hipro Polymers and Casda Biomaterials (+17% scope of business effect).

Volumes decreased by 5% compared to 1st quarter 2011 which represented a very high basis of comparison marked by restocking in several product lines as well as exceptional growth in Asia.

By contrast, they significantly improved over 4th quarter 2011. Prices remained stable overall compared to 1st quarter 2011 in a context of high raw material costs. The currency translation effect was positive at +2%. EBITDA reached €253 million, close to the historical performance of 1st quarter 2011 (€289 million) and showing a significant increase compared to 4th quarter 2011 (€158 million).

This is by far the Group's second best performance for a 1st quarter. Market conditions improved noticeably compared to the end of last year, even if they cannot be compared to the particularly supportive environment of 1st quarter 2011.

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