11 May 2010 10:28 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Specialty chemicals maker Evonik said it had started the year with “strong figures” as it reported a first quarter net profit of €290m ($372m) from the €46m loss reported for the equivalent quarter in 2009.
“The economy is starting to recover and our confidence is growing,” said executive board chairman, Klaus Engel. He cautioned, however, that the economic situation remained uncertain.
Evonik said its first quarter sales had grown by 18% to €3.77bn with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) more than doubling to €744m from €329m. The EBITDA margin over sales improved to 19.7% from 10.3%.
Chemicals sales were up 32% on the 2009 first quarter at €2.99bn with volumes up 30% and prices 3% higher. Evonik said that a substantial rise in raw material costs was only partly recouped through selling price but segment EBITDA at €579m was up from the first quarter 2009 outturn of €241m.
Profits were 67% higher in the energy business largely on one-off effects in coal trading in the first quarter of 2009 and despite lower coal prices in the latest quarter real estate profits were up slightly.
The company said it was more optimistic about the outlook than at the start of the year despite current economic uncertainty. It forecast double digit full year sales growth and higher EBITDA and operating profit (EBIT - earnings before interest and tax) than last year.
($1 = €0.78)
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