Clariant announced sales of CHF 1.870 billion in the second quarter 2011, compared to CHF 1.894 billion in the previous year. This includes Süd-Chemie sales of CHF 216 million for May and June.
MUTTENZ, Switzerland – Clariant announced sales of CHF 1.870 billion in the second quarter 2011, compared to CHF 1.894 billion in the previous year. This includes Süd-Chemie sales of CHF 216 million for May and June. In local currencies, sales growth amounted to 14 percent. Due to the massive appreciation of the Swiss franc against most major currencies, sales were 1 percent lower in Swiss francs year-on-year.
The softening demand compared to the previous year and the unusually high comparable basis of the second quarter 2010 is reflected in a 5 percent decrease in volumes. Local currency sales saw double-digit growth in the Business Units Additives, Industrial & Consumer Specialties and Oil & Mining Services. At the regional level, a mixed performance was achieved with double-digit sales growth in local currencies in Asia, Europe, North America and Middle East & Africa but slightly lower sales growth in Latin America.
Raw material costs increased by 14 percent compared to the previous-year period. A strict focus on margin management led to an improvement in sales prices of 7 percent, thereby fully compensating for the increased raw material costs. Sequentially, a 3 percent increase in sales prices fully offset a 5 percent increase in raw material costs. Despite successful margin management, the gross margin fell to 27.5 percent from 28.9 percent a year ago. This is mainly due to lower volumes and an unfavorable currency development.
Clariant expects a more difficult but nevertheless solid business environment in H2 2011, characterized by a softening demand. Exchange rates for the major currencies are expected to remain volatile. Commodity prices look set to continue to rise in the second half-year 2011, leading to an increase in raw material costs in the mid-teens compared to 2010.
For 2011, Clariant – including eight months of consolidated Süd-Chemie figures – expects sales in the range of CHF 7.8 to 8.0 billion and an EBITDA margin before exceptional items of 13.5 to 14.5 percent.