MUTTENZ, Switzerland – Specialty chemicals company Clariant announced third-quarter 2013 sales from continuing operations of CHF 1,443 billion compared to CHF 1,489 billion in the prior-year period. This corresponds to a two percent sales growth in local currencies that was almost entirely the result of higher sales volumes. In Swiss francs, sales decreased three percent, due to the pronounced weakness of the Brazilian real, the Japanese yen and the Indian rupee against the Swiss franc.
The economic environment remained challenging and basically unchanged compared to the first six months of 2013. In this environment, all business areas with the exception of Catalysis & Energy achieved local currency sales growth in the low- to mid-single-digit range. Sales in Plastics & Coatings recovered from the weak prior-year period, achieving four percent growth. Care Chemicals outperformed the other business areas, adding five percent in sales year-on-year, with all segments and regions contributing to growth. Natural Resources managed to increase sales by three percent. Good growth in Adsorbents, Mining Services and Refinery Services outweighed a weaker Water Treatment and a temporarily softer Oil Services business. In Catalysis & Energy, Catalysts experienced some delays in the realization of new customer projects, mainly in Asia. The situation is expected to gradually improve during the fourth quarter. The startup business Energy Storage did not improve compared to the previous quarters.
On a regional basis, local currency sales growth in Latin America continued at a high level with an 11 percent increase year-on-year. A heterogeneous development has been observed in the other regions. North America and Europe grew two percent in local currencies while Asia/Pacific lost two percent. Robust growth of two percent in China was more than offset by weakness in India and Japan. Middle East & Africa continued at a low level.
CEO Hariolf Kottmann noted, “Clariant achieved a solid performance in the first nine months of 2013 as most businesses developed favorably under continuing challenging economic conditions around the globe. Good progress has been made in the repositioning of the business portfolio, with the divestment of underperforming businesses nearing completion. This will leave Clariant with a well-balanced portfolio that has promising long-term growth prospects in many areas of the specialty chemicals industry.”