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Clariant plans to manage its portfolio more actively
22
Apr '08
At Annual General Meeting, the shareholders of Clariant, a global leader in specialty chemicals, adopted each of the motions proposed by the Board of Directors by a large majority.

The Annual General Meeting approved the Annual Report and the financial statements, among other things. Discharge was granted to the Board of Directors and the Management Board. The shareholders also approved a payout of CHF 0.25 per share by reducing nominal value.

Hariolf Kottmann (52), Dominik Koechlin (49) and Carlo G. Soave (48) were elected as new members of the Board of Directors for a three-year term of office. They replace Roland Lösser and Kajo Neukirchen, who have decided not to stand for re-election, and Tony Reis, who has stepped down from the Board of Directors. Peter Isler was re-elected.

Clariant's Chief Executive Officer Jan Secher explained to the shareholders the course business had taken in 2007. He said the foundations had been laid for improving the company's profitability and that the path embarked upon would be pursued with resolve. This would mean implementing cost-saving initiatives on the one hand, and further price increases on the other, with both contributing to a better operating margin in 2008.

He referred to the fact that the trend towards consolidation in many customer industries would also impact Clariant. The company plans to manage its portfolio more actively in future, and thus benefit from these consolidation moves.

In Secher's words: “We are currently market leaders for many of our products, but very often in highly fragmented markets that are determined by a multitude of smaller competitors. In such markets, it is extraordinarily difficult to achieve appropriate prices or set trends in technology. This requires consolidation.

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