Clariant: Full Year 2011 Performance
Clariant, Muttenz, Switzerland, announced full-year 2011 sales of CHF 7.370 billion, compared to CHF 7.120 billion in 2010. Sales grew 16 % in local currencies and 4 % in Swiss francs. The lower growth in Swiss francs was a result of the significant appreciation of the Swiss franc against most major currencies on a year-on-year basis.
Due to the acquisition of Süd-Chemie and the strength of the Business Unit Catalysis & Energy in the third and fourth quarters, sales were higher in the second half-year than in the first six months, despite a significant slowdown in some businesses towards year-end. In addition to Catalysis & Energy, which had another record-year, the non-cyclical Business Units Additives, Functional Materials, Industrial & Consumer Specialties, and Oil & Mining Services contributed significantly to the sales increase in 2011. Those noncyclical businesses account for more than 50 % of Group sales. In contrast, the cyclical Business Units Pigments and Masterbatches suffered from a slow-down in industrial production that started at the beginning of the second half-year and resulted in destocking activities along the value chain. All regions grew at a double-digit rate in local currencies.
Ebitda before exceptional items increased to CHF 975 million (margin 13.2 %) from CHF 901 million (margin 12.7 %) a year ago. A strong fourth quarter in Catalysis & Energy and a diminishing negative impact from currencies toward the end of the year pushed the margin higher. The operating profit (EBIT) before exceptional items rose to CHF 717 million (margin 9.7 %) compared to CHF 696 million (margin 9.8 %) in 2010. Lower restructuring costs led to an improvement in net income to CHF 251 million from CHF 191 million despite higher tax expenses.
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