Switzerland’s Clariant to focus on sustainability, differentiation

01 June 2012 07:07  [Source: ICIS news]

GUANGZHOU (ICIS)--Clariant will continue to focus on sustainability and differentiation to give it a competitive advantage in the chemical industry, a company executive at the Swiss specialty chemicals firm said on Friday.

“All our innovations, research and development (R&D) and other activities are focusing on functionality, productivity and environmental compatibility, which we believe would help us gain sustainable growth and at the same time differentiate effectively from competitors,” said Steven Brown, Clariant’s Asia Pacific key account manager for its leather business.

“Our motto is for customers to sense the difference,” he added.

Brown was speaking at the sidelines of the 22th International Exhibition on Shoes & Leather Industry, which runs from 30 May to 1 June at Guangzhou in China’s Guangdong province.

Clariant also differentiates through high end, valued-added products, according to Brown.

“Cheap, low-quality [products] are not our option,” he said. 

Despite the current challenges in the leather industry worldwide that are due to the debt woes in the eurozone and slowdown in the Chinese economy, Brown is upbeat about a recovery.

“We’re in leather industry for over 100 years and we of course experienced ups and downs. The leather industry has its cycles, which are very normal for us,” he said.

Brown declined to comment on when the recovery will begin and whether Clariant has revised its growth target.

“The [leather] markets change very quickly. It’s almost impossible to make predictions for [the] next quarter or beyond,” he said.

Clariant’s CFO Patrick Jeny said in his review of the company’s first-quarter results that it expects a 4-6% growth in Asia this year. 

By: Fanny Zhang
+65 6780 4359

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