• Best-ever third quarter
• Q3 sales EUR 2.3 billion, up 26% yr-on-yr
• Q3 EBITDA pre EUR 311 million, up 27%
• Q3 net profit EUR 154 million, up 31%
• FY outlook confirmed: EBITDA pre expected to rise by roughly 20% to more than EUR 1 billion.
The German specialty chemicals company also reiterated its full-year outlook for EBITDA pre exceptionals to grow about 20 percent year-on-year and thus exceed the EUR one billion mark for the first time in the company’s history.
In recognition of this historic achievement, LANXESS’ Board of Management has decided to increase the budget for the annual performance payment by an additional EUR 20 million to a total of EUR 100 million for all eligible employees worldwide.
“I am delighted that our team has not only achieved another record quarter but also surpassed 2010 earnings already in the first nine months of 2011,” said Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG. “Our focus on innovative, high-tech products for the four global megatrends, especially mobility, has proven again to be the right one.”
Sales increased by 26 percent year-on-year to EUR 2.3 billion. LANXESS increased prices in all segments in order to fully pass on higher raw material costs. Volumes were stable and currencies were negative due to the weak US-dollar. There were positive portfolio effects from recent acquisitions, above all the Keltan EPDM rubber business.
EBITDA pre exceptionals rose 27 percent y ear-on-year to EUR 311 million in the third quarter. This result already contains an inventory devaluation of roughly EUR 20 million in the Performance Polymers segment. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals rose to 13.3 percent in the third quarter from 13.2 percent a year earlier and the net profit increased 31 percent year-on-year to EUR 154 million.
Net debt at the end of the third quarter was practically unchanged at roughly EUR 1.4 billion in comparison to the second quarter. Operating cash-flow fell 21 percent year-on-year to EUR 163 million in the third quarter due to higher working capital.
Performance by region
EMEA (Europe excluding Germany, Middle East, Africa) remained the largest sales region in the third quarter, with 28 percent of overall Group sales. Sales rose by 30 percent year-on-year to EUR 656 million.
Asia-Pacific increased sales by 27 percent year-on-year to EUR 519 million in the third quarter and represented 22 percent of Group sales. China, India and South Korea were the strongest performers.
Sales in Germany rose 20 percent year-on-year to EUR 407 million in the third quarter and represented 18 percent of Group sales. The company’s rubber activities benefited especially from strong demand for winter tires.
Sales in North America grew by 23 percent year-on-year to EUR 401 million and represented 17 percent of Group sales in the third quarter.
Latin America increased sales by 30 percent year-on-year to EUR 353 million, and represented 15 percent of Group sales. Brazil was once again the key driver in the region
Sales in the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) rose 35 percent year-on-year to EUR 588 million. These key markets now represent 25 percent of Group sales.
Performance by segment
Sales in the Performance Polymers segment rose 48 percent year-on-year to EUR 1.4 billion. Prices soared 36 percent year-on-year to offset higher raw material costs. In addition, sales were driven by an excellent contribution from the acquired Keltan EPDM rubber business. EBITDA pre exceptionals rose 60 percent to EUR 213 million in the third quarter.
LANXESS’ synthetic rubber and high-tech plastics activities predominantly serve the tire and automotive industries, which are continuously profiting from the megatrend mobility - especially in the BRICS countries. LANXESS’ products not only help improve the safety of tires and automobiles but also make them more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly.
Third quarter sales in the Advanced Intermediates segment rose four percent year-on-year to EUR 371 million, mainly driven by price increases to compensate for higher raw material costs. EBITDA pre exceptionals rose three percent year-on-year to EUR 68 million, with both business units Advanced Industrial Intermediates and Saltigo profiting from the ongoing robust demand from the agrochemicals sector. Demand was weaker in the customer end-markets construction, color and coatings and pharmaceuticals.
Sales of the Performance Chemicals segment rose two percent year-on-year to EUR 523 million in the third quarter, with all business units able to pass on higher raw material costs. There was also a positive sales contribution from the acquired Darmex Group in Latin America and Syngenta’s material protection business. Lower volumes and negative currency effects meant EBITDA pre exceptionals fell 10 percent year-on-year to EUR 75 million in the third quarter. A softening in demand was evident in the construction as well as electrical and electronics industries.
“We confirm our outlook for EBITDA pre exceptionals to grow by about 20 percent this year and thus exceed the EUR one billion mark for the first time,” said Heitmann.
LANXESS expects a normal seasonality in the fourth quarter coupled with ongoing customer destocking. Raw material prices are expected to continue their decline since September, especially butadiene – a key feedstock for the company. This is expected to lead to a further inventory devaluation of roughly EUR 35 million in the fourth quarter, which is included in the outlook.
Foreign currencies will also remain volatile, while the high levels of sovereign debt in Europe and the USA is leading to increased consumer uncertainty.
In spite of the prevailing macroeconomic conditions, LANXESS still expects solid growth in the BRICS countries. Also, the company has proven in the past that it can react quickly and efficiently to any challenge due to its excellent strategic set-up.
Heitmann added that LANXESS will be sticking to its growth strategy going forward as part of the company’s goal to achieve EUR 1.4 billion EBITDA pre exceptionals in 2015. In order to reach this goal, the company is continually investing in new and existing plants to meet growing demand. LANXESS now expects to spend EUR 600 million in 2011, at the top end of its 550-600 million guidance.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.1 billion in 2010 and currently around 16,100 employees in 30 countries. The company is at present represented at 47 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainable indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good.
Rudolf Eickeler, Spokesperson Financial and Business Media
T: +49 214 30 40483 / F: +49 214 30 50691 / E: rudolf.eickeler[.]lanxess.com.