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2012-08-07

LANXESS confirms 2012 forecast after a strong second quarter

  • Q2 EBITDA pre exceptionals improves by 6.8% to EUR 362 million
  • Q2 sales rise by 8.1% to EUR 2.42 billion
  • Q2 net income declines by 2.8% to EUR 176 million due to exceptional charges
  • Considerable sales increases in Asia and North America
  • Forecast confirmed: EBITDA pre exceptionals expected to grow by 5-10%

Specialty chemicals Group LANXESS continued to grow in the second quarter. EBITDA pre exceptionals rose by 6.8 percent year-on-year to EUR 362 million. Sales advanced by 8.1 percent to EUR 2.42 billion.

“We believe these results confirm our view of the seasonal development, and we are therefore adhering to our target of raising EBITDA pre exceptionals by 5 to 10 percent for the full year,” said LANXESS CEO Axel C. Heitmann. “Our focus on megatrends and growth regions, combined with our technological expertise, provide stability in an increasingly challenging environment.”

Sales improved mainly as a result of currency effects and selling price increases. Raw material cost increases were fully passed on to the market in all segments. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals, at 14.9 percent, was level with the previous year. Net income fell slightly by 3 percent to EUR 176 million due to reorganization measures in the Performance Chemicals segment.

Net debt increased by 14.7 percent compared with the end of 2011, to approximately EUR 1.74 billion. Operating cash flow for the second quarter came in at minus EUR 49 million, due partly to an increase in working capital reflecting business activity.

Business development by region

Sales of LANXESS in Asia-Pacific rose by nearly 24 percent to EUR 608 million, bringing the region’s share of Group sales to 25 percent. The Performance Polymers segment turned in a strong performance, with significant growth in the double-digit range. Substantial impetus in this region continued to come from Greater China, where sales advanced by 31 percent.

In North America, Group sales rose by more than 19 percent to EUR 439 million and accounted for 18 percent of Group sales, with all segments posting growth rates in the low single digits. The United States was the main factor for the development of business in this region.

Sales rose by nearly 8 percent year-on-year to EUR 331 million in Latin America, which again accounted for 14 percent of Group sales. Brazil continued to be the most important country in the region.

EMEA (Europe excluding Germany, Middle East, Africa) remained the strongest region, contributing 27 percent to Group sales. Sales receded by more than 2 percent compared with the prior-year period, to EUR 650 million, with business declining particularly in Italy and Spain. Russia, by contrast, saw encouraging growth.

In Germany, sales fell by less than 4 percent year-on-year to EUR 396 million and thus accounted for 16 percent of Group sales.

In the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), sales advanced by more than 14 percent year-on-year to EUR 597 million. These countries represented nearly 25 percent of Group sales.

Business development by segment


The Performance Polymers segment registered a year-on-year sales increase of over 11 percent in the second quarter of 2012, to EUR 1.43 billion. Rising raw material costs, especially for butadiene and isobutylene, were quickly passed on to the market through selling price increases. A positive portfolio effect from the acquisition of the Keltan EPDM business, along with favorable currency effects, contributed significantly to higher sales. The Asia-Pacific region proved a particularly strong growth driver. EBITDA pre exceptionals for the segment rose by more than 12 percent to EUR 257 million.

Supported by strong demand for agrochemicals, sales in the Advanced Intermediates segment edged up by 1 percent in the second quarter, to EUR 399 million. Demand from the construction and coatings industries, however, remained weak. Higher raw material costs were passed on to the market in full. North America acted as a growth driver, posting a particularly strong sales gain in absolute figures. EBITDA pre exceptionals showed a substantial year-on-year increase of 22 percent to EUR 79 million.

Sales in the Performance Chemicals segment rose by more than 4 percent against the same period of last year to EUR 585 million. Here too, higher raw material costs were passed on to the market in full. EBITDA pre exceptionals receded by nearly 18 percent to EUR 78 million. Earnings were diminished by a decline in orders from the construction and electrical/electronics industries, as well as by maintenance shutdowns in a number of business units.

Outlook

LANXESS continues to anticipate a typically seasonal business pattern for the business year 2012. Consequently, the company expects the EBITDA contributions of the first half of the year in relation to the second half in a ratio of 60:40. In view of increasing economic challenges, LANXESS does not expect to see any further momentum in the second half of the year.

“We therefore expect the operating result in the second half of 2012 to be approximately at the prior-year level,” said Heitmann.

For Europe, LANXESS continues to predict weak economic development as a result of the euro debt crisis. The company anticipates moderate economic growth in Asia and Latin America. The U.S. economy will probably continue to expand, though possibly at a slower pace.

Raw material and energy costs are expected to remain volatile in the second half of the year. LANXESS will strictly adhere to its price-before-volume strategy.

In addition, LANXESS has successfully launched further strategic investment projects in its growth markets in the first half of the year. As a result, the company now expects capital expenditures of EUR 650 million to EUR 700 million in 2012 in comparison to the EUR 600 million originally planned.

“Our performance is reflected against a very strong previous year and we are on the way to achieving an even better result in 2012 after our strong second quarter,” added Heitmann.

Q2 2012 Key Data
(EUR million)

 

 

 
 

Q2 2012

 
 

Q2 2011

 
 

Change (percent)

 
 

Sales

 
 

2,424

 
 

2,243

 
 

+8.1

 
 

EBITDA pre exceptionals

 
 

362

 
 

339

 
 

+6.8

 
 

EBITDA margin pre exceptionals (percent)

 
 

14.9

 
 

15.1

 
 

 

 
 

Net income

 
 

176

 
 

181

 
 

(2.8)

 
 

Earnings per share

 
 

2.11

 
 

2.17

 
 

(2.8)

 

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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