Arkema reaffirms €1bn earnings target despite economic downturn

11 October 2011 18:58  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--French chemical group Arkema said on Tuesday it is still confident it will achieve the €1bn ($740m) earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) target for 2011 that it announced in August.

According to chairman and CEO Thierry Le Henaff, demand remains strong despite the worsening macroeconomic situation in mature economies and slower growth in China.

Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference in Shanghai, Le Henaff said: "I can confirm the guidance we gave in early August. Market conditions are more or less the same. I feel customers are more cautious – they read the papers and see the macroeconomic statistics – but we still have solid conditions and a good level of demand."

He said the first half of 2011 in China was “extraordinary”, adding that “the second half is not at the same level, but is still solid. If we get 9% GDP growth [in China], we’ll be happy".

Europe’s debt crisis and slide into stagnating growth means Arkema is "more in cost-control mode than development mode there".

"Beyond that, we’re still aggressive in what we project for growth – more in emerging economies," Le Henaff said.

Arkema achieved EBITDA of €790m in 2010 and €355m in 2005.

($1 = €0.73)

By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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