Switzerland’s Clariant Q1 net profit slumps 83% on weak margins

03 May 2012 06:54  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Clariant International reported a sharp decline of 83% in its first-quarter 2012 net profit to Swiss francs (Swfr) 20m ($22m, €17m) as weaker margins offset higher sales, the Switzerland-based specialty chemicals producer said on Thursday.

Its net profit was Swfr120m in the same period last year.

Sales for January-March 2012 increased 13% to Swfr1.95bn from Swfr1.72bn in the previous corresponding period, the company said in a statement.

Its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the quarter fell 39% year on year to Swfr123m, with EBIT margins before exceptional items slipping to 8.2% from 13.4% in the same period last year, Clariant said.

“In a year-on-year comparison… the quarter was weaker due to economic headwinds, an unfavourable currency development and the absence of restocking activities,” Clariant said.

The company said it incurred Swfr41m in restructuring and impairment costs in the March quarter of 2012 that were mainly related to the integration of Süd-Chemie and additional projects related with sustainable cost reductions.

Clariant said it is expecting its first-half financial results to be lower year on year, with an improvement in the second half of 2012.

“For full-year 2012, Clariant expects further sales growth in local currencies and sustained profitability,” it said.

($1 = Swfr0.91, $1 = €0.76)

By: Pearl Bantillo
+65 6780 4359

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