Solvay: 1st Quarter 2010 Results
Solvay Group sales for the first quarter of 2010 amounted to EUR 1,912 million. Not including the pharmaceuticals activities, they were up by 18% compared to the first quarter of 2009. In Chemicals (EUR 682 million), the gradual improvement of sales volumes continued in a context of significantly lower prices than those of the first quarter of 2009, in particular in soda ash and caustic soda. Sales from the Plastics Sector (EUR 917 million) clearly improved (+46% compared to the first quarter of 2009), especially thanks to a significant increase in sales volumes in the “Specialties” cluster, which combines Specialty Polymers and Inergy Automotive Systems. Although all regions of the world were involved, this improvement was particularly notable in Asia. Sales prices of Specialty Polymers remained globally stable.
Recurring Group operating result (Rebit1-2) for the first quarter of 2010 amounted to EUR 146 million. In Chemicals, the operating result (EUR 67 million) improved by 9% compared to the first quarter of 2009. It benefited from higher utilization rates in the context of a more sustained global activity and from energy costs similar to those of the first quarter of 2009 despite the significant increase in the quantities sold (+17%). The operating result in the Plastics Sector (EUR 59 million) clearly improved compared to the first quarter of 2009 (EUR 7 million) and the fourth quarter of 2009 (EUR 30 million). This improvement was primarily due to the continued increase in sales volumes of Specialty Polymers (+37% compared to the first quarter of 2009 and +12% compared to the fourth quarter of 2009).
The Group’s operating margin (Rebit on sales), excluding the pharmaceutical activities, was 7.2% in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 4.7% in the first quarter of 2009.
The net income of the Group (EUR 1,732 million) was up compared to the first quarter of 2009 due to the capital gain realized on the sale of the pharmaceuticals activities (EUR 1.7 billion net of taxes). Rebitda1-3 of the Group amounted to EUR 249 million. Excluding the pharmaceuticals activities, it improved by 40% compared to the first quarter of 2009.
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