18 May 2009 09:12 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--German speciality chemical maker Evonik incurred a net loss of €46m ($62m) in the first quarter of 2009 due to a substantial decline in sales, a company statement said on Monday.
Sales contracted by 19% to €3.20bn from €3.94bn in the same period a year go, while operating profits had a 72% year-on-year fall to €126m in the first three months of the year.
In the chemicals business, sales receded by 24% to €2.21bn against €2.91bn in the first quarter of 2008. The company attributed this to a sharp drop in volumes.
Evonik’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) fell 49% to €331m while its chemicals business reported an EBITDA of €233m in the first quarter of 2009 against €461m in the same period a year ago.
"Another major downward factor on earnings in this business area was the sharp drop in demand, which led to far lower capacity utilisation," the statement said.
"The outlook for 2009 remains very uncertain, consequently, a reliable quantitative forecast is not possible," Evonik said.
"The chemicals business area, which accounts for around 75% of Evonik, is still facing very difficult economic conditions. Although Evonik registered a slight recovery in some areas of its chemicals business in March, there is still no sign of a broadly based upturn," it added.
($1 = €0.74)
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