22 March 2013 11:14 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Altana’s 2012 net income rose 5% year on year to €155m ($201m) as sales increased despite economic headwinds, the Germany-based specialty chemicals firm said on Friday.
Sales in 2012 rose by 5% year on year to €1.71bn, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also grew by 5%, reaching €323m with a margin of 19%.
Matthias Wolfgruber, CEO of Altana, said: “In 2012, we proved once again that we are able to achieve profitable growth, even in a rapidly changing environment.
"This was possible because we have implemented our growth strategy consistently and acted flexibly,” he added.
The company said it saw operating sales growth of 1%, “despite stagnating sales volumes, by shifting to higher-grade specialty products and through price increases.” Altana added that acquisitions contributed 1% to the overall growth, while positive exchange rate effects accounted for 3%.
Regionally, Europe was Altana's biggest market, where sales - excluding Germany - amounted to €752m. However, this is a 2% fall in operating sales year on year because of decreasing demand, particularly in Southern Europe.
Sales in the Americas amounted to €412m, a year-on-year rise of 4% in operating terms, while sales in Asia also grew by 4% year on year to €486m.
“Up to the middle of the year, growth rates, particularly in China, were at a low level. In the second half of the year, the region [Asia] recorded double-digit sales increases. Overall, nominal and operating growth rates of the company's business in Asia were similar to those in the Americas,” Altana said.
Looking ahead, Altana expects growth despite continuing uncertain economic environment, particularly in Europe.
The company said it forecasts overall increasing sales volumes for the current business year, which should lead to a sales growth in the lower single-digit percentage range with a return on sales and capital to be about as high as in the previous year.
“We will maintain our goal of sustainable value creation in 2013. This is why we are making targeted investments into highly promising growth markets and the development of new innovative specialty chemicals products,“ said Wolfgruber.
Altana has planned investments of more than €100m for 2013, due to a few large projects, including the expansion of production capacities at its BYK additives and instruments division's US site in Wallingford, which will be the largest single investment the group has made outside Germany.
($1 = €0.77)
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