-Well-balanced portfolio allows Clariant to grow in a challenging but stable business environment.
- Continuing operations achieved first quarter sales growth of 2% in local currencies and 1% in Swiss francs, to CHF 1.526 billion from CHF 1.513 billion in the previous-year period.
- EBITDA margin before exceptional items at 13.7% compared to 13.9% in Q1 2012.
- Net result from continuing operations of CHF 38 million compared to CHF 16 million in Q1 2012.
- Net debt reduced to CHF 1.66 billion, down from CHF 1.79 billion at year-end 2012.
- For full-year 2013, Clariant expects further progress in sales and profitability compared to 2012 by focusing on growth and continuous cost efficiency.
CEO Hariolf Kottmann: “Clariant had an encouraging start to the year as sales continued to grow and margins remained robust under stabilizing economic conditions. While the Group concentrated on disciplined cost management and the execution of the announced portfolio measures, the businesses turned their attention to intensifying growth and fostering innovation.
"Regardless of the persistent economic softness, Clariant is in shape to deliver step-by-step on its promises in order to create one of the leading specialty chemicals companies.”
First Quarter 2013 results
Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, reported first quarter sales 2013 from continuing operations of CHF 1.526 billion compared to CHF 1.513 billion in the previous-year period, an increase of 2% in local currencies and 1% in Swiss francs. Organic growth of 2% was primarily the result of higher volumes. The negative currency effect of 1% was mainly attributable to the double-digit percentage depreciation of the Brazilian real and the Japanese yen against the Swiss franc compared to the same period one year ago.
The business environment remained basically unchanged compared to the final quarter of 2012. As in the previous quarter, sales trends were therefore not uniform across regions and businesses. At the regional level, Latin America exhibited the highest growth with a 10% increase in local currency sales. Year-on-year, sales in Asia Pacific and EMEA were unchanged, with the latter posting 2% growth in Europe and a 10% sales decline in Middle East & Africa. Sales in North America grew 5%.
As expected, the Care Chemicals and Natural Resources Business Areas continued to grow, with local currency sales increases of 13% and 4% respectively. Care Chemicals benefitted from the low sensitivity of the consumer-oriented businesses to the general economic cycle and favorable weather conditions for its European and North American de-icing business.
In 2013, the de-icing season extended into late March on both sides of the Atlantic. Natural Resources was driven by double-digit local currency sales growth in Oil & Mining Services while the Functional Minerals business was weak, recording a mid-single-digit decline in local currencies year-on-year.
Catalysis & Energy experienced a single-digit sales decline due to a slow start in Syngas and Specialty Catalyst, reflecting the usual high volatility in the first two quarters of the year. Plastics & Coatings, on the other hand, stabilized at low levels, with the slightly lower sales figures mainly attributable to the early Easter break and therefore fewer billing days this year compared to the previous-year period.
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