Second Quarter 2018 – Higher sales and EBITDA improvementIn the second quarter of 2018, sales rose by 7 % in local currency to CHF 1.667 billion. All Business Areas contributed to the strong organic growth, however the positive developments in Care Chemicals and Catalysis were particularly noteworthy.
Almost all geographic regions added to the growth. Sales in Asia grew by 10 % in local currency with a continuing strong development in both China and India. Sales in Latin America progressed by 13 % and in North America by 9 %. In Europe, sales advanced by a robust 5 %. Only Middle East & Africa, the smallest region, reported lower sales with a decrease of 10 %.
Sales in Care Chemicals rose by 10 % in local currency and in Catalysis by a strong 11 %. In Natural Resources, sales increased by 6 % supported by both Business Units Oil & Mining Services and Functional Minerals. Sales in Plastics & Coatings grew by 4 % supported by continued growth in all three Business Units.
EBITDA before exceptional items rose by 10 % to CHF 256 million primarily lifted by the strong contribution from Care Chemicals and Plastics & Coatings. The corresponding EBITDA margin before exceptional items on Group level increased to 15.4 % from 15.2 % in the previous year.
Outlook – Continued progression in growth, profitability improvement and operating cash flow generationClariant expects the good economic environment in mature markets, which represent a high comparable base, to continue. Emerging markets are expected to be supportive with Latin America showing signs of a recovery.
For 2018, Clariant is confident to be able to achieve growth in local currency, as well as progression in operating cash flow, absolute EBITDA and EBITDA margin before exceptional items.
Clariant confirms its mid-term target of reaching a position in the top tier of the specialty chemicals industry. This corresponds to an EBITDA margin before exceptional items in the range of 16 % to 19 % and a return on invested capital (ROIC) above the peer group average.