Clariant: Sales in Q3 down 14%
Clariant International AG, Muttenz/Switzerland, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announced sales of CHF 1.691 billion in the third quarter, compared to CHF 2.094 billion during the same period in the previous year. This represents a 19% decline in Swiss Francs, and 14% in local currency.
Sales stabilized during the third quarter. Although there was a modest pick up in some businesses and regions, overall demand remained at low levels with no signs of a sustainable upward trend. Volumes declined by 11% and prices were 3% lower compared to the third quarter 2008. Raw material costs were 16% lower compared to the same period a year ago, but 1% higher compared to the second quarter 2009. The costs of capacity underutilization were lower than in the two previous quarters as a consequence of higher utilization rates, the shutting down of plants and a reduction in workforce - either temporarily or permanently.
Despite the pressure on volumes, the company maintained a stringent focus on managing its gross margin which increased to 30.1% from 29.4% in the previous-year period.
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