21 March 2014 10:58 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Altana’s net income for 2013 fell 2% compared to 2012 to €152m due to currency effects and expenses from acquisitions made during the year, the Germany-based specialty chemicals company said on Friday.
Altana, which acquired the rheology division of US-based Rockwood for $635m in the second half of the year, reported that sales had increased by 4% year on year in 2013 to €1.77bn, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) had grown 4% to €336m.
Foreign exchange headwinds cut growth by 2%, and increased expenses, depreciation and amortisation as a result of Altana’s acquisitions during the year also served to curtail growth, the company added.
Growth was driven by strong demand from China – where sales rose 14% – and the wider Asia region, where sales increased 7% year on year, according to the company, while sales in the Americas grew by 6% on the back of acquisitions.
Sales fell by 1% in Europe and Germany, but Altana noted a steady increase in demand over the course of the year. In the fourth quarter, sales were higher than they had been during the same period in 2012, the company added.
“Altana anticipates the general economic climate to improve slightly in 2014. This development should be driven, in particular, by the recovery of the European markets,” the company said.
The company’s additives and instruments business enjoyed the strongest growth of any division in 2013, increasing 12% year on year to €691m, with nearly half of the increase driven by the acquisition of the Rockwood business, and of wax additives business ChemCor at the end of 2012.
Effect pigments sales fell 2% year on year to €335m, despite steady volumes, as a result of negative currency effects, which also impacted on Altana’s electrical insulation division. Electrical insulation sales rose by 3%, but the figure drops to 1% when currency effects were factored in, to €415m.
Exchange rates weighed heavier on the company’s coatings and sealants division, where gains from acquisitions were more than offset by currency issues, resulting in a 3% year-on-year drop in sales to €325m.
Despite still-weak European demand and exchange issues, the company is sticking to its aggressive growth strategy, according to CEO Matthias Wolfgruber.
“We seek to double our business by 2020. This growth should be reflected not only by sales growth to €3.5bn, but also by new jobs. We have proven that we are able to achieve sustainable growth rates of this magnitude,” he said, adding that the company is targeting sales growth in the high single digits this year.
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