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LANXESS starts 2008 with a strong Q1
20
May '08
Specialty chemicals group LANXESS AG had sales of EUR 1,535 million in the first quarter of 2008 (Q1 2007: EUR 1,711 million). Adjusted for portfolio and currency effects, sales grew by 8.1 percent year on year. Reported sales declined as expected, coming in 10.3 percent below the prior-year quarter.

EBITDA pre exceptionals rose by 0.5 percent to EUR 220 million (Q1 2007: EUR 219 million), with selling price and volume increases more than offsetting adverse raw material price and currency developments.

The prior-year figure contained earnings of roughly EUR 10 million from the since-divested Lustran Polymers activities.

The EBITDA margin before special items rose by a substantial 1.5 percentage points to 14.3 percent. Net income improved significantly, moving ahead 13.2 percent to EUR 103 million (Q1 2007: EUR 91 million).

“Through our strict alignment toward premium products with leading market positions, we once again achieved above-average corporate success in a challenging market environment,” commented Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the LANXESS Board of Management.

He said Group sales benefited from 3.8 percent higher prices and 4.3 percent volume growth. “We succeeded in passing on the increase in raw material costs in all segments,” Heitmann added.

Business trend by region:
LANXESS increased sales in all regions on a portfolio- and currency-adjusted basis. There was an encouraging increase in sales in Asia-Pacific, supported by ongoing market growth in the region.

Adjusted sales climbed by 25 percent, while the reported sales figure was down 6.3 percent year on year at EUR 281 million. This region's share of LANXESS's global sales increased from17.5 percent to 18.3 percent. Double-digit growth rates were recorded in India, Japan and China.

In a positive economic environment, adjusted sales in Germany rose by 1.8 percent. The reported figure declined by 9.2 percent to EUR 373 million (Q1 2007: EUR 411 million). Germany's share of Group sales edged upward from 24.0 to 24.3 percent.

In the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa, excluding Germany), LANXESS saw sales grow by 5.9 percent after adjusting for portfolio and currency effects. Growth was driven particularly by the western European markets, with sales rising by a double-digit percentage in Belgium and single-digit figures in France and Italy.

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