Altana: Results in 2009
The specialty chemicals Group Altana, Wesel, Germany, recorded considerable declines in sales and earnings in the business year 2009. Despite the pronounced upturn in business in the second half of 2009, the company remained below the sales and earnings levels of 2008. Sales decreased by 12% from EUR 1,341.7 million to EUR 1,181.7 million. Adjusted for positive exchange rate as well as acquisition effects, the operating sales decrease was 15%. While sales in the first half of 2009 decreased nominally by 25% compared to the prior year, sales in the second half of the year were up by 3% on the prior year figure, which had been burdened by the crisis as well. At EUR 555.1 million, the strongest decline in sales was reported in Europe, where sales were down by 17%. Sales in the American regions were down by 12% to EUR 267.7 million. While, at EUR 317.9 million, the Asian region also recorded a decrease in sales of 2% for the year as a whole, it showed the strongest recovery in the second half of 2009. However, it was not possible to completely compensate for the weak sales figures of the first six months of the business year. With regards to China alone, the 2009 sales figure increased by 7%, from EUR152.9 million to EUR164.3 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined by 16% to EUR 204.1 million (prior year: EUR 242.9 million). The EBITDA margin contracted only slightly from 18.1% to 17.3 %. In addition to decreasing raw materials costs, this development was also positively influenced by extensive measures to enhance efficiency and optimize costs which led to savings of EUR 55 million in 2009.
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