This performance, achieved in an economic environment that was less favorable than in 2011, confirms the validity of the repositioning of the Group’s activities portfolio towards high added value niche markets. Moreover, the Group’s geographic presence is now more evenly balanced and is further strengthened by several ongoing major investment projects in Asia and the United States.
On the basis of the financial performance achieved and to mark its confidence in Arkema’s ability to reach the objectives set for 2016, the Board of Directors has decided to propose a significant increase in the dividend, to €1.80 per share.
FULL YEAR 2012 ACTIVITY
Sales reached €6.4 billion, +8.4% up on 2011. This growth includes a +9.4% change in the scope of business effect reflecting the contribution of acquisitions (specialty resins acquired on 1st July 2011 (Cray Valley and Sartomer), Chinese companies Hipro Polymers and Casda Biomaterials, alkoxylates, and an acrylic additive and emulsion site in Brazil) and the impact of the divestment of the tin stabilizer business finalized on 1st October 2012.
Volumes decreased slightly (-2.0%) compared to 2011 which represented, over the first six months of the year, a high basis of comparison marked by restocking and exceptional growth in Asia.
Towards the end of the year, volumes in certain product lines were affected by weak demand in Europe and destocking in some sectors. The evolution of prices (-2.6% compared to 2011) essentially reflects the decrease expected in acrylic monomers and some fluorogases. The translation effect, primarily related to the strengthening of the US dollar against the euro, was positive (+3.6%).
In a less favorable and more volatile economic environment than in 2011, EBITDA stood at €996 million, close to last year’s record level (€1,034 million) and fully in line with the Group’s objective to generate in 2012 an EBITDA close to €1 billion.
The solid results of its activities in North America where the Group has developed a significant presence (34% of the Group’s total sales), the net contribution of acquisitions and divestments, the optimization of the product mix in Performance Products, and the positive impact of the translation effect have helped partially offset the slight decrease in volumes, a return to mid-cycle conditions in acrylic monomers, and noticeably lower unit margins for some fluorogases.
At 15.6%, the EBITDA margin remained among the highest in the industry. With 17.2% and 15.9% EBITDA margins respectively, fully in line with the targets set for the medium term, the two business segments, Performance Products and Industrial Chemicals, each achieved a very solid performance, reflecting the Group’s positioning in higher added value specialty businesses.
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