ELANTAS Electrical Insulation

Bad Homburg / Wesel, April 26, 2007.

The new ALTANA starts with good First Quarter 2007

  • Sales: +7 percent
  • Earnings (EBITDA): +23 percent
  • Optimistic outlook for 2007

ALTANA AG (NYSE: AAA, FSE: ALT), which is operating as a pure specialty chemicals company since January 1, 2007, achieved consolidated sales of €349 million in the first quarter of 2007, an increase of 7%. Adjusted for minor acquisition and exchange rate effects (-3%), operating growth was 10%. Business in Asia and Europe developed especially positively, with a sales growth of 9% respectively. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 23% to €62 million. The significant increase is mainly due to double-digit increases in earnings in all divisions. The EBITDA margin was 17.7%, reflecting as expected the temporarily increased costs related to the dual group structure with two headquarters in Bad Homburg and Wesel. This structure is to be maintained until the middle of 2007. Income before taxes (EBT) amounted to €78 million in the first quarter of 2007, corresponding to an increase of €49 million on the prior-year’s figure. EBT are very positively influenced by the interest yield from the investment of the purchase price for ALTANA Pharma.

Positive sales and earnings development in all divisions

 

All four divisions of ALTANA contributed to the good business performance in the first quarter. Sales in the largest division, Additives & Instruments, climbed by 9%, from €103 million to €113 million. At €35 million (prior year: €31 million), EBITDA rose by 15%.

In the first quarter of 2007, Effect Pigments achieved sales of €89 million, translating into an increase of €7 million or 9% on the prior-year’s figure. EBITDA amounted to €21 million, and was therefore up by €5 million or 30% compared to the first quarter of 2006.

At €90 million, sales in the Electrical Insulation division were up by €6 million or 7% on the prior year. EBITDA climbed by 23% to €14 million (prior year: €12 million).

The Coatings & Sealants division reported a sales increase of 2% in the first quarter of 2007, from €55 million to €57 million. EBITDA improved by 13 % to €6 million.

“The development of the first quarter 2007 proves that ALTANA has equally strong growth and earnings momentum,“ stated Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, President and CEO of ALTANA Chemie and designated CEO of ALTANA AG. “The company is robustly positioned to also achieve in the future its ambitious growth and earnings goals as a worldwide successful specialty chemicals group.”

 

Delisting in the U.S.

On April 24, 2007, ALTANA’s Management Board decided to delist from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and to file a deregistration application with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After successful deregistration, ALTANA will no longer be subject to the regulations of the U.S. securities laws including the reporting obligations and regulations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act resulting from a registration with the SEC. With this step ALTANA will take the new Group structure into consideration: In 2002, it was mainly on account of ALTANA Pharma’s activities in the U.S. that ALTANA opted for a U.S. listing. ALTANA has not arranged for the listing of its ADSs or ordinary shares on another national securities exchange or for the quotation of its common stock in a quotation medium in the United States.

Positive outlook for the business year 2007

For the current business year, ALTANA expects an ongoing positive business environment and further increase in demand for specialty chemicals products. Raw material prices should stabilize at a high level. Our presumed exchange rate is U.S. Dollar 1.32 per Euro on an annual average. On this basis, we still expect a mid-range single-digit growth in sales to a level of €1.34 to €1.39 billion and a strong double-digit growth in EBITDA to a level between €210 and €240 million in 2007. Income before taxes (EBT) will be positively influenced by the extraordinary interest yield of about €50 to €60 million from the investment of the  purchase price for ALTANA Pharma.


Key Figures, Q1 2007 
 

ALTANA Group

January to March 2007

January to March 2006

Change

 

 

 

 

 

in € million

in € million

in %

 

 

 

 

Sales

349

324

+ 7

 

 

 

 

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

62

50

+ 23

 

 

 

 

Operating income (EBIT)

43

30

+ 40

 

 

 

 

Income before taxes (EBT)

78

29

>100

 

 

 

 

EBT margin in %

22.5

8.9

 

 

 

 

 

Net income (EAT)1

50

19

>100

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share (EPS) in €1

0.36

0.14

>100

 

 

 

 

Research and development expenses

17

17

+ 3

 

 

 

 

Capital expenditure on intangible assets and property, plant and equipment

13

14

- 9

 

 

 

 

Number of employees (March 31)1

4,532

4,461

+ 2

 

1: The prior-year figures relate to the continuing operations.


A conference call for analysts will take place today, April 26, 2007, at 2:00 p.m. (local time, CEST). More information on the relevant audio webcast, this press release and the report on Q1 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. The forward-looking statements appearing in this press release include revenue and earnings projections for the ALTANA Group. These statements are based on beliefs of ALTANA’s management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to ALTANA. Many factors that ALTANA is unable to predict with accuracy could cause ALTANA’s actual results, including asset and financial position, sales, and earnings, to be materially different from those that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include ALTANA’s ability to develop new and innovative chemical products, the company’s ability to maintain close ties with its customers, the business cycles experienced by its customers, and the prices for raw materials in ALTANA’s business.

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.