Swiss Clariant swings to a net profit of Swfr47m in Q4 on demand

16 February 2011 06:35  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Switzerland’s Clariant said on Wednesday it has swung to a net profit of Swiss franc (Swfr) 47m ($48.5m) in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to a loss of Swfr67m in the same period a year earlier, on the back of solid demand.

Sales in the fourth quarter grew 8% year on year to Swfr1.7bn, while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) swung to gain of Swfr31m, versus a loss of Swfr23m in the same period of 2009, the specialty chemicals maker said in a statement.

Most of the firm’s business units experienced solid underlying demand for their products and services, with its industrial & consumer specialties and oil & mining services segments outperforming the rest of the group, it said.

At the regional level, the highest growth rates were in Europe and North America, the firm added.

For the full year of 2010, the company swung to a net profit of Swfr191m, compared to a loss of Swfr194m in 2009, with sales up 13% year on year at Swfr7.12bn, Clariant said.

“The double-digit sales growth… was the result of the robust global economic growth supported by restocking activities in parts of the portfolio in the first half of the year,” the firm said.

“All regions reported double-digit sales growth,” it added.

In its outlook, Clariant said it expected global economic growth to continue but at a slower pace than in 2010.

Exchange rates of the most important currencies were expected to remain volatile, it said.

Growth would mainly come from the emerging markets in the Asia Pacific and Latin America, the company added.

The firm expects raw material costs to increase in the high single-digit range, with commodity prices to rise again in 2011 after remaining momentarily stable in the second half of 2010.

“Clariant expects 2011 sales growth… in the low single-digit range,” the company added.

($1 = Swfr0.97)

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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