ELANTAS Electrical Insulation

Wesel, August 5, 2010

ALTANA: Dynamic upward trend continues

  • Sales and earnings grow significantly in the first six months of the year
  •  Uncertainty about inventory effects and the development of raw material prices

The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA continued and further strengthened its positive business performance over the first six months of the current business year. Compared to the first half of 2009, the company increased sales by 43% to €773.1 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also climbed considerably from
€70.2 million to €171.5 million. For all figures it has to be taken into account that the first half of 2009 which serves as the basis for comparison was heavily burdened by the economic crisis. However, 2010 first-half sales and earnings are also higher than comparable figures for 2008 which had not been affected by the crisis. The EBITDA margin improved to 22.2% (prior year: 13.0%). Earnings before taxes (EBT) rose significantly from €24.5 million to €126.2 million.

Development by division

Sales in the BYK Additives & Instruments division grew by 50% from €186.0 million in the prior-year period to €279.5 million. With sales amounting to €180.2 million, the ECKART Effect Pigments division also recorded a significant growth of 44% on the prior year (€125.4 million). Sales in the ELANTAS Electrical Insulation division grew by 44% too, from €128.8 million in the prior year to €185.5 million. Sales in the ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants division, which was the least affected by the crisis in the prior-year period, rose by 27%, from €100.8 million to €127.9 million in the first half of 2010.

Rising raw material prices and increased volatility characterize the environment

“The significant upward trend of the first quarter has further continued and stabilized,“ stated Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. He continued that ALTANA had returned to the pre-crisis business level faster than expected, having been able to profit from a very positive business performance as well as from inventory effects and favorable raw material prices. However, even though ALTANA is anticipating a successful business year 2010, one would have to wait and see how sustained the upswing is going to be. “We expect that our business will still be marked by increased volatility in the near future. This is why we will continue to operate prudently. On the whole, however, it is clear that we have returned to our long-term, profitable growth path.“

Outlook

For the business year 2010 as a whole, we anticipate a significant growth in sales compared to the crisis-burdened prior year. From our current perspective we expect to achieve at least the sales level of before the onset of the worldwide economic crisis, in the current business year. The increase in sales should result in a disproportionate development of our key earnings figures. In general, however, we expect that the dynamic growth in demand will slow down and that volatility will increase. As a consequence, we cannot rule out a decline in sales performance for the upcoming months. Uncertainty remains high with regard to a sustained level of demand and to the stability of the general economic conditions as well as that of the chemical industry.

Key Figures H1 2010

ALTANA Group

January to June 2010

January to June 2009

Change

(in € million)

 

 

in %

 

 

 

 

Sales

773.1

541.0

43

 

 

 

 

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)

171.5

70.2

> 100

 

 

 

 

Operating income (EBIT)

130.7

32.2

> 100

 

 

 

 

Earnings before taxes (EBT)

126.2

24.5

> 100

 

 

 

 

Net income (EAT)

87.4

14.9

> 100

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share (EPS) in €

0.64

0.11

> 100

 

 

 

 

Research and development expenses

40.5

34.5

17

 

 

 

 

Capital expenditure on intangible assets and property, plant and equipment

22.2

27.2

-18

 

 

 

 

Headcount (June 30)

4,820

4,637

4

 

A telephone press conference will take place today, August 5, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. (local time, CEST). More information on the relevant audio webcast, this press release and the interim report is available at www.altana.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, i.e. current estimates or expectations of future events or future results. These statements are based on beliefs of ALTANA as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to ALTANA. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. ALTANA does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update forward-looking statements to reflect facts, circumstances or events that have occurred or changed after such statements have been made.

About ALTANA:

ALTANA develops and produces high-quality innovative products in the specialty chemicals business. The ALTANA Group, with headquarters in Wesel/Germany, is a genuine “global player” with 84% of its sales generated by international activities. The ALTANA Group has four divisions: BYK Additives & Instruments, ECKART Effect Pigments, ELANTAS Electrical Insulation, and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants. All of these divisions occupy a leading position in their target markets with respect to quality, product solution expertise, innovation and service.

ALTANA offers innovative, environmentally compatible solutions with the matching specialty products for coating manufactures, paint and plastic processors, the printing and cosmetic industries, and the electrical and electronic industry. The product range includes additives, special coatings and adhesives, effect pigments, sealants and compounds, impregnating resins & varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments.

At present, the ALTANA Group has 35 production facilities and 47 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the group 4,800 people work to ensure the success of ALTANA worldwide. In 2009 ALTANA achieved sales of about 1.2 billion euros. Its impressive earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most successful and innovative chemical groups worldwide.