Clariant: Continuing Sales Growth
Clariant announced a rise in 9-month sales with growth of 4 % in local currencies and 6 % in Swiss Francs, compared to the first three quarters of 2006. In absolute terms, sales rose to CHF 6.447 billion from CHF 6.090 billion a year earlier. The gross margin decreased to 29.6 % from 31.2 % in the previous year.
The regional sales split showed a mixed picture. Europe remained stable, whereas Asia overall showed good growth with some slowdown the third quarter, in particular in China and India. Sales in the USA were more resilient. Price increase initiatives across all divisions have started bearing fruit. In particular the divisions Pigments & Additives as well as Textile, Leather and Paper Chemicals managed to resist further price pressure.
Clariant substantially increased the operational cash flow to CHF 320 million compared to CHF 173 million in the first 3 quarters of 2006.
In line with the “Clariant 2010” strategy and the embedded strategic site optimization, the company booked CHF 120 million of restructuring costs in the third quarter, mainly in order to close the Textile, Leather & Paper Chemicals site at Selby in the UK. In addition the closure of the Pigments & Additives site Coventry, Rhode Island and the Masterbatches site in Naucalpan, Mexico, have been decided. Further restructuring costs will be booked in the 4th quarter of 2007 – total restructuring costs for 2007 will amount to approximately 250 million Swiss Francs.
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