LANXESS started 2017 with a very good first quarter. Global sales of the specialty chemicals company increased by a substantial 25 per cent to EUR 2.4 billion, up from EUR 1.9 billion a year earlier. EBITDA pre exceptionals also improved by 25 per cent to EUR 328 million, compared with EUR 262 million in the first quarter of 2016. Net income rose by a substantial 47 per cent to EUR 78 million, against EUR 53 million in the year-earlier quarter. In view of the positive operational development and the successfully completed acquisition of Chemtura, the company expects to post EBITDA pre-exceptionals of between EUR 1,225 million and EUR 1,300 million for the full year 2017. This forecast takes account of the earnings contribution from the newly acquired Chemtura businesses. 2017 could therefore be the most successful fiscal year in the company’s history.
“LANXESS today is a realigned enterprise that is profitable, stable and fast-growing,” stressed Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management, LANXESS, said in his presentation before the stockholders at the LANXESS arena in Cologne.
In view of the encouraging business results, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board proposed to the annual stockholders’ meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.70 be paid out – an increase of 17 per cent against the previous year. This would result in a total dividend payout of around EUR 64 million. “We are thus achieving our goal of paying an increasing but at least stable dividend,” said Zachert. EBITDA pre exceptionals of LANXESS rose by 12.4 per cent to EUR 995 million in 2016, compared with EUR 885 million a year earlier. The main drivers of this positive development were higher volumes in all segments, the associated increase in capacity utilisation and cost savings resulting from the improved competitiveness of the company’s plants and processes.
The Group’s EBITDA margin pre exceptionals improved from 11.2 per cent to 12.9 per cent. Net income rose by a substantial 16.4 per cent to EUR 192 million from EUR 165 million. Sales declined slightly, from EUR 7.9 billion in 2015 to EUR 7.7 billion, primarily due to the adjustment in selling prices to reflect lower raw material costs.
At the end of the past fiscal year, net financial liabilities fell very substantially from EUR 1.2 billion to EUR 269 million. This was mainly due to the proceeds from the joint venture for synthetic rubber with Saudi Aramco. In 2016, capital expenditures amounted to EUR 439 million, which was more or less level with the prior-year figure of EUR 434 million.