MUTTENZ, Switzerland – Specialty chemicals company Clariant provided an update on its strategy to reach its 2015 mid-term targets at the company’s annual Capital Markets Day on June 28. In addition to investment in research and development (R&D), the company plans to focus on high-growth markets.
With the integration of the growth businesses Catalysis & Energy and Functional Minerals and the planned divestment of five low-growth, low-profitability businesses, Clariant’s adjusted portfolio has a high exposure to markets with future perspectives and strong growth rates. In those markets, the company has competitive positions and a superior pricing power. This is reflected in a significantly higher earnings quality.
In order to create further value, investments into R&D and innovation have been constantly increased. Clariant showcased some of the most recent successes in the development of its product pipeline, such as its crop care adjuvant Synergen® or its de-emulsifier Phasetreat®, an award-winning product in oil services.
“The investments into R&D of the last two years are now becoming visible. The innovation pipeline is constantly growing and currently has a sales potential of more than one billion Swiss francs by 2017,” said CEO Hariolf Kottmann. “Combining Clariant’s innovation strength with a clear focus on customers and markets, we will be in an even better position to exploit the potential of our R&D pipeline.”
For the remainder of the current business year, Clariant will focus on accelerating top-line growth, finalizing the portfolio measures as well as maintaining a high cost discipline. “While we expect the economic environment to remain difficult, Clariant has a sound financial basis for executing the profitable growth strategy that will lead to an increase in local currency sales and a higher EBITDA margin in 2013,” said company CFO Patrick Jany.
Kottmann reconfirmed the 2015 targets of an EBITDA margin before exceptionals above 17 percent and a return on invested capital (ROIC) above peer group average.