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02-17-2011

Clariant: Full Year Results 2010

Clariant, Muttenz, Switzerland, announced that 2010 sales totaled CHF 7.120 billion, compared to CHF 6.614 billion in 2009. This represents an increase of 13% in local currency and 8% in Swiss francs. All regions reported double-digit sales growth in local currencies. Lower idle facility costs, successful price management and lower production costs resulting from the benefits of the restructuring program pushed the gross margin from 23.5% in the year-ago period to 27.9%.

As a result of the improved gross margin and the lower cost base, operating income (EBIT) before exceptional items increased to CHF 696 million, compared to CHF 270 million in the previous year. The corresponding margin rose from 4.1% in 2009 to 9.8%. This year marked the end of the restructuring program, with all business units contributing to the strong operating profits by reducing their cost levels and optimizing their structures and processes. Restructuring and impairment costs amounted to CHF 331 million, mainly in connection with site closures within the global asset network optimization program, and a further reduction in headcount. The number of job positions was reduced from 17,536 at year-end 2009 to 16,176. In the reporting period, the company returned to a net income of CHF 191 million compared to a net loss of CHF 194 million in the previous year.

Clariant further strengthened its balance sheet by increasing its cash position to CHF 1,419 million, compared to CHF 1,140 million in 2009. At the same time, net debt was reduced to CHF 126 million, from CHF 545 million at the end of 2009. The company’s gearing (net debt divided by equity) was 7% at the end of 2010, significantly lower than the 29% recorded at the end of 2009.

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