24 March 2010 12:12 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Cognis swung to a fourth-quarter 2009 net profit of €24m ($32m), compared with a net loss of €30m in the same period of 2008, due to cost-management initiatives and increased earnings from continuing operations, the German specialty chemicals producer said on Wednesday
Sales for the three months ended 31 December 2009 fell 10.1% year on year to €627m, Cognis said.
“Our strategy and the restructuring of our portfolio have really paid off during this time of crisis,” said Cognis CEO Antonio Trius.
“We reacted swiftly and decisively to the global downturn.... This, combined with our systematic efforts to improve efficiency and productivity, meant that we were able to improve our operating result despite the decrease in sales volumes seen last year,” Trius added.
Cognis swung to a full-year net profit of €25m from a €49m loss in 2008 despite sales for the whole of 2009 falling 13.9% year on year to €2.58bn.
Full-year sales in the group’s care chemicals sector fell 13.4% year on year to €1.45bn, due lower sales volumes, reflecting weak global economic conditions and demand, especially from business segments with industrial applications, Cognis said.
The company added that it had reduced the net debt of the Cognis Group (including Cognis Holding) by €396m to €1.86bn from 31 December 2008.
Looking ahead, Cognis expected the markets to remain volatile in 2010, despite making a positive start to the year.
“Assuming global economic conditions continue to recover, we expect to achieve an increase in sales volumes in 2010, and continue to exploit the growth potential offered by the wellness and sustainability trends, in both mature and emerging markets,” said Trius.
Last week, Cognis declined to confirm reports that the company would be sold rather than floated in an initial public offer (IPO).
($1 = €0.74)
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