Clariant, a specialty chemicals company, has overcome challenging conditions in North America and China.
Company reported that it has achieved nine months 2019 continuing operations sales of CHF 3.272 billion (approximately $3.289 billion) compared to CHF 3.278 billion (approximately $3.295 billion) in the first nine months of 2018. This corresponds to an organic growth of 3 percent in local currency and a stable development in Swiss francs. Both higher volumes and pricing contributed to this expansion.
While sales in the Middle East & Asia grew by 15 percent, Latin America by 13 percent and Asia by 4 percent, the development in the main markets was more subdued. Sales in Europe weakened by 3 percent, North America was down by 5 percent and sales in China decreased by 8 percent.
Sales in Care Chemicals declined by 3 percent in local currency and by 6 percent in Swiss francs, against a particularly strong comparison base and a more cautious demand environment in Industrial Applications.
In the third quarter, the EBITDA margin for Care Chemicals after exceptional items declined to 17.1 percent from 21.6 percent due to inventory devaluation, given lower raw material costs and because the volume reduction in base products negatively impacted the cost coverage.
In the first nine months as well as in the third quarter of 2019, sales in discontinued operations (Masterbatches and Pigments) declined by 2 percent in local currency, negatively impacted by the weakened economic environment.
“Our nine months results reflect the resilience and quality of our continuing businesses, in particular in light of the worsening economic environment in the third quarter,” said Hariolf Kottmann, executive chairman of Clariant. “Looking forward, we will continually improve our performance through further operational improvement initiatives and the systematic implementation of our portfolio strategy to focus on higher value specialty businesses.”
Despite the current challenging environment, Clariant expects its continuing businesses to achieve above-market growth, higher profitability and stronger cash generation based on its focused, high value specialty portfolio.