ALTANA: Sales and earnings below prior year levels despite noticeable upturn in business
Significant recovery in the second half of the year
Impairments at ECKART Effect Pigments
Dividend Proposal: 4 Cent per share
Wesel, March 18, 2010. The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA recorded considerable declines in sales and earnings in the business year 2009. “Despite our comparatively robust setup, the global economic crisis has taken a toll on ALTANA“, stated Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. “Nevertheless, 2009 was not 中日韩3国占据统治地位a lost year for us. We were able to further consolidate our position in the worldwide specialty chemicals markets. We have used 2009 to operate even more efficiently and to further optimize our structures; and we were drawn even closer together. These strengths, along with ALTANA‘s role as technology leader and our attractive product portfolio are the decisive factors to successfully continue our profitable growth course after the economic crisis is overcome“, said Wolfgruber.
Cost savings safeguard profitability
Despite the pronounced upturn in business in the second half of 2009, ALTANA remained below the sales and earnings levels of 2008. Sales decreased by 12% from €1,341.7 million to €1,181.7 million. Adjusted for positive exchange rate as well as acquisition effects, the operating sales decrease was 15%. While sales in the first half of 2009 decreased nominally by 25% compared to the prior year, sales in the second half of the year were up by 3% on the prior year figure, which had been burdened by the crisis as well. At €555.1 million, the strongest decline in sales was reported in Europe, where sales were 油散热器down by 17%. Sa而复合材料由于固有的不1致性而难以实现les in the American regions were down by 12% to €267.7 million. While, at €317.9 million, the Asian region also recorded a decrease in sales of 2% for the year as a whole, it showed the strongest recovery in the second half of 2009. However, it was not possible to completely compensate for the weak sales figures of the first six months of the business year. With regards to China alone, the 2009 sales figure increased by 7%, from €152.9 million to €164.3 million.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined by 16% to €204.1 million (prior year: €242.9 million). The EBITDA margin contracted only slightly from 18.1% to 17.3 %. In addition to decreasing raw materials costs, this development was also positively influenced by extensive measures to enhance efficiency and optimize costs which led to savings of €55 million in 2009.
As of December 31, 2009, the ALTANA Group employed 4,789 people worldwide, almost the same number as at the end of 2008 (4,791). This includes 140 employees of the Water Ink Technologies’ business, which was acquired in October 2009. Due to the postponement of projects on account of the economic crisis, capital expenditu商家包邮res totaled €54.0 million and were therefore significantly lower than in the prior year (€107.9 million). At €71.6 million, the company’s research and development expenditure remained at the high level of 2008 (€72.1 million), underlining the great importance ALTANA attributes to innovation.
Impairments at ECKART Effect Pigments
Compared to the ot敦化her divisions, the global economic crisis caused the most significant decrease in sales in the Effect Pigments division. In addition, the division’s recovery in the second half of 2009 started at a later point in time and was less dynamic. The sluggish development in ECKART’s important markets, particularly the automotive industry, had a negative effect. This is why ALTANA revised its earnings forecast for Effect Pigments downwards in the course of 2009.
Within the framework of impairment tests in accordance with the rules of IFRS, this adjustment led to impairments on property, plant and equipment as well as goodwill of €77 million. This does not affect the cash flow and has no significant effect on the balance sheet structure of the Group with an unchanged high equity ratio of 69%. Irrespective of this accounting measure, the business model and the long-term prospects of Effect Pigments remain intact.
Due to the impairments in the Effect Pigments division, the Group’s operating earnings (EBIT) fell significantly by 71% to €49.2 million, following €170.3 million in 2008. As a result, earnings before taxes (EBT) in the ALTANA Group declined from €158.7 million in the prior year to €39.0 million, a decrease of 75%. The company’s net income (EAT) declined to €11.0 million (prior year: €103.4 million).
Sales development by division
The BYK Additives Instruments division achieved sales of €419.9 million in 该装置疲劳和磨损测试结果表明2009 following €450.5 million in 2008; this is a decrease of 7%. The earnings losses resulting from the sales decline could largely be offset, so that the division’s EBITD喀什A was only 6% down to €119.9 million (prior year: €127.6 million).
At €282.3 million (prior year: 350.7 million), sales in the ECKART Effect Pigments division fell by about 20%. Despite positive effects from measures to cut costs, EBITDA also decreased significantly from €67.2 million 防尘圈to €27.4 million.