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LANXESS achieves best quarterly earnings in its history
14
Aug '08
Specialty chemicals company LANXESS AG considerably improved both its operating result and sales in the second quarter of 2008. The group's central steering parameter, EBITDA pre exceptionals, climbed by 5.7 percent in the period April through June, to EUR 223 million (Q2 2007: EUR 211 million).The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals edged ahead by 0.4 percentage points to 12.6 percent.

LANXESS generated net income of EUR 53 million in the second quarter, against a net loss in the prior-year period related to the divestiture of the Lustran Polymers business unit. The fact that raw material price increases were passed on to the market in full had a particularly positive effect.

Sales of the LANXESS Group rose by 2.2 percent, from EUR 1,727 million in the prior-year period to EUR 1,765 million in the second quarter of 2008. Adjusted for portfolio changes and negative currency effects operational sales climbed by 14 percent.

“LANXESS generated very good earnings in the second quarter of 2008 and resolutely maintained its course of profitable expansion. The Group is optimally positioned to stand up well in an increasingly difficult market environment,” said Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG. Heitmann attributed this to his company's focus on high-performance, innovative products and to the divestment of highly cyclical businesses as part of its systematic portfolio management.

Capital expenditures rose by 3.1 percent to EUR 66 million (Q2 2007: EUR 64 million).

Further EBITDA growth in the first half of 2008:
In the first six months of 2008, EBITDA pre exceptionals of LANXESS improved by 3 percent to EUR 443 million (H1 2007: EUR 430 million). The EBITDA margin grew by 0.9 percentage points to 13.4 percent. Net income climbed by EUR 124 million compared to the first half of 2007, to EUR 156 million.

The prior-year figure of EUR 23 million was largely shaped by exceptional charges relating to the sale of the Lustran Polymers business unit. Sales came in at EUR 3.3 billion, just below the previous year's figure of EUR 3.4 billion. On an adjusted basis, however, half-year sales rose by a substantial 11.1 percent.

Positive second-quarter performance in all regions:
The Group's positive business performance was also reflected in regional trends. Adjusted for portfolio changes and currency effects, LANXESS increased sales in all regions.

Sales gained strongly in the Asia-Pacific region, with LANXESS's business benefiting primarily from the activities of the Performance Polymers segment. Reported sales in this region came in at EUR 323 million (Q2 2007: EUR 310 million), up 4.2 percent. On an adjusted basis, sales rose by an even more substantial 43 percent. The region's share of total Group sales increased slightly to EUR 18.3 percent (Q2 2007: 18.0 percent). LANXESS achieved growth rates well into double digits in China, India and Japan.

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