WESEL, Germany - The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA ended the 2010 business year with excellent sales and earnings figures. Sales climbed to EUR 1,535.4 million, corresponding to an increase of 30 percent compared to the previous year (EUR 1,181.7 million). Adjusted for exchange rate as well as acquisition effects, the operating sales growth was 24 percent. As a result, ALTANA more than compensated for the crisis-related decrease in sales in the 2009 business year and was also able to generate significant growth in sales compared to the pre-crisis level of 2007.

The increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was even more pronounced than in sales revenues. In 2010, EBITDA grew by 51 percent to EUR 314.1 million, up from EUR 208.4 million. The EBITDA margin was 20.5 percent, higher than the prior-year figure of 17.6 percent.

For the first time ever, the BYK Additives & Instruments division generated sales of more than half a billion euros in the past business year. Sales improved by 29 percent, up from EUR 419.9 million in 2009 to EUR 541.2 million in 2010. Sales of ECKART Effect Pigments also rose noticeably from EUR 282.3 million to EUR 356.6 million, an increase of 26 percent. The ELANTAS Electrical Insulation division achieved the largest percentage growth, with sales climbing by 38 percent to EUR 377.4 million, following EUR 272.7 million in 2009. Sales of ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants grew by 26 percent from EUR 206.8 million to EUR 260.2 million.

ALTANA generated the highest sales volume in Europe, with EUR 683.7 million compared to EUR 555.1 million in the previous year, an increase of 23 percent. The second most important region was Asia, where sales amounted to EUR 439.0 million, an increase of 38 percent, which is the strongest growth in comparison to the previous year (EUR 317.9 million). China accounts for almost half of the company’s total sales in Asia. With sales of EUR 224.2 million, this country is the third-largest single market, close behind Germany (EUR 234.5 million). In the Americas, ALTANA achieved sales of EUR 361.5 million, following EUR 267.7 million in 2009. This also corresponds to a significant sales increase of 35 percent. The largest single market in the American region is the United States, with sales amounting to EUR 242.0 million.