LEVERKUSEN, Germany – German specialty chemicals company LANXESS has announced strong figures for the past fiscal year, with improvements in key reported numbers.
“2012 was the best year in our growth story so far. Our business model proved itself once again,” said LANXESS’ Chairman of the Board of Management, Axel C. Heitmann, at the company’s Annual Press Conference in Dusseldorf, Germany.
LANXESS confirmed the preliminary results for 2012 that it published on March 7, 2013. Group sales grew by 4 percent in fiscal 2012 to EUR 9,094 million. Business development was driven notably by the focus on emerging markets, solid demand for agrochemicals, positive contributions from acquisitions and the price-before-volume strategy.
EBITDA pre exceptionals improved by 7 percent to EUR 1,225 million, compared with EUR 1,146 million in the previous year. The operating result came within the target corridor of a 5 to 10 percent increase. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals amounted to 13.5 percent, compared with 13.1 percent in the previous year. Net income and earnings per share (EPS) improved by 2 percent in 2012, to EUR 514 million and EUR 6.18, respectively.
The Asia-Pacific region again proved to be a stabilizing factor in 2012. Sales grew by about 10 percent to about EUR 2.2 billion. In Greater China (Hong Kong, China, Taiwan), the EUR 1 billion sales threshold was exceeded for the first time. Business in North America also gained strongly, with sales advancing by more than 10 percent to roughly EUR 1.6 billion. The EMEA region (Europe excluding Germany, Middle East, Africa) – with sales of EUR 2.5 billion – once again accounted for the largest share of LANXESS sales, although business in this region showed a slight decline of just under 1 percent. In Germany, sales rose slightly to approximately EUR 1.6 billion. In the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), sales moved forward by 1 percent year-on-year to nearly EUR 2.2 billion.
Performance Polymers showed a solid performance and remained the largest segment in business terms, raising sales by more than 2 percent from the strong level of the prior year to some EUR 5.2 billion. The Butyl Rubber, Performance Butadiene Rubbers and Technical Rubber Products business units, which all serve the automotive and tire industries, experienced a drop in volumes. Sales were buoyed by the positive portfolio effects from the Keltan EPDM business acquired in 2011.
Sales of the Advanced Intermediates segment grew by more than 8 percent in 2012 to roughly EUR 1.7 billion. The increase was mainly attributable to continuing high demand for agrochemicals. Both the Advanced Industrial Intermediates and the Saltigo business units benefited from this demand, Saltigo having aligned its activities even more toward agrochemicals.
Sales of the Performance Chemicals segment improved by more than 3 percent in 2012 to approximately EUR 2.2 billion. Volumes fell in the Rubber Chemicals and Rhein Chemie business units, where customers in the automotive-related industries account for a substantial proportion of sales. Positive effects came from the acquisitions made by the Material Protection Products, Functional Chemicals and Rhein Chemie business units.
Contrary to the usual seasonal trend, the low level of demand that was already apparent in the second half of 2012 has continued into the start of the year in most businesses. Against the backdrop of current weak demand in the tire and automotive industries in Europe, LANXESS expects a significantly lower year-on-year EBITDA pre exceptionals of between EUR 160 and 180 million in the first quarter of 2013. This estimate already reflects start-up costs of EUR 20 million for the new butyl plant in Singapore. Based on the weak business development in the first quarter, LANXESS currently expects that the EBITDA pre exceptionals in the business year 2013 will not reach the record level of the previous year.