Business development in the segmentsSales in the Advanced Intermediates segment were EUR 546 million in the second quarter of 2018, 8.1 percent higher than the figure for the prior-year quarter of EUR 505 million. At EUR 97 million, EBITDA pre exceptionals matched the figure of the prior year. Increases in procurement prices for raw materials and energy, which were significant in some cases, were passed on to customers by adjusting selling prices. The organometallics business acquired in the prior year with the Chemtura acquisition also made a positive contribution to earnings. Negative currency effects depressed earnings. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals came in at 17.8 percent, against 19.2 percent a year ago.
In the Specialty Additives segment, sales increased by 15.2 percent to EUR 508 million, against EUR 441 million in the prior-year quarter. At EUR 91 million, EBITDA pre exceptionals was 21.3 percent up on the prior-year’s figure of EUR 75 million. The contribution of the acquired Chemtura businesses and the synergies associated with the acquisition were crucial to the positive development. At 17.9 percent, the EBITDA margin pre exceptionals was higher than the figure of 17.0 percent a year ago.
In the Performance Chemicals segment, sales decreased by 3.0 percent compared with the strong previous year to EUR 356 million, after EUR 367 million. The sale of the Material Protection Products business unit’s chlorine dioxide business in the previous year was reflected in the reduction in sales. At EUR 58 million, EBITDA pre exceptionals was 27.5 percent down on the prior year’s figure of EUR 80 million. Earnings were squeezed by the persistently weak chrome ore business in the business unit Leather, unfavorable exchange rates and higher procurement prices for raw materials. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals decreased accordingly from 21.8 percent to 16.3 percent.
In the Engineering Materials segment, sales increased significantly by 10.5 percent to EUR 399 million, against EUR 361 million a year ago. EBITDA pre exceptionals increased by 12.5 percent to EUR 81 million after EUR 72 million. The improvement in earnings resulted from higher volumes, especially in high-performance plastics for lightweight construction, and the contribution from the urethane business acquired with the Chemtura takeover. Accordingly, the EBITDA margin pre exceptionals came in at 20.3 percent, against 19.9 percent in the prior-year quarter.