ELANTAS Electrical Insulation

Wesel, August 8, 2007

ALTANA posts robust growth in the first six months of 2007

  • Sales: +7 percent
  • Earnings (EBITDA): +22 percent
  • Optimistic outlook is updated


The specialty chemicals company ALTANA AG substantially increased sales and earnings in the first six months of 2007 compared to the previous year. Sales increased by 7%, rising from €659.0 million to €705.7 million. Adjusted for negative exchange rate effects of 3% as well as slightly positive acquisition effects, the operating sales growth rate was 9%. The growth in sales was particularly strong in Europe (+ 10%) and Asia (+ 8%). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 22% from €103.1 million to €125.2 million, based on double-digit earnings increases in all divisions. The EBITDA margin was 17.7%; despite additional costs due to the dual holding structure with the headquarters in Wesel and Bad Homburg, which was maintained until the middle of the year. Income before taxes (EBT) reflects the extraordinary interest income of €55.3 million from the investment of the purchase price for ALTANA Pharma realized until the distribution of the dividend in May. EBT for the first half of 2007 totaled €138.6 million; this corresponds to an increase of €75.9 million on the comparable prior-year figure.

All divisions are developing positively
All four divisions contributed to the substantial growth of ALTANA.

Sales in the largest division, BYK Additives & Instruments, climbed from €214.1 million in the prior year to €229.6 million; this translates into an increase of 7%. EBITDA was up from €63.9 million to €70.5 million, an increase of 10%.

ECKART Effect Pigments posted an increase of 8%, with sales rising from €165.7 million to €178.9 million. EBITDA grew significantly from €34.1 million to €43.9 million, and was therefore up by 29%.

Sales of ELANTAS Electrical Insulation grew by 9%, up from €167.7 million to €182.9 million. EBITDA amounted to €28.2 million, and was therefore up by €5.7 million or 27% compared to the first half of 2006 (€22.5 million).

ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants improved sales by 2%, generating €114.3 million (prior year: €111.5 million). EBITDA climbed from €11.5 million to €12.9 million, corresponding to an increase of 12%.

“In the first half-year of our new group structure as a pure specialty chemicals company we have demonstrated a very satisfying development and were able to increase sales and earnings substantially,“ stated Dr. Matthias Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. “We have thus successfully lived up to the confidence placed in us by the capital markets and the general public after the new start of ALTANA and we are well positioned to continue our path of profitable growth into the future.“
 
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 materials prices should remain at a high level. Due to the recent currency developments we have adjusted our exchange rate expectations: the presumed U.S. Dollar rate is now 1.35 per Euro on an annual average.

Against this background and on the basis of the positive sales and earnings development of the first six months, we update our previously given outlook as follows: For 2007, we expect a mid-range single-digit growth in sales to a level of €1.35 to €1.39 billion and a strong double-digit growth in EBITDA to a level between €220 and €240 million. Effects from the intended acquisition of Wolstenholme have not been considered, as the closing of the transaction is subject to approval by the British antitrust authorities. Income before taxes (EBT) is positively influenced by the extraordinary interest income of €55.3 million from the investment of the proceeds from the sale of ALTANA Pharma.

Key Figures, H1 2007

ALTANA Group

January to June 2007

January to June 20061

Change

 

 

 

 

 

in € million

in € million

in %

 

 

 

 

Sales

705.7

659.0

+ 7%

 

 

 

 

Earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)

125.2

103.1

+ 22%

 

 

 

 

Operating income (EBIT)

81.4

64.4

+ 26%

 

 

 

 

Income before taxes (EBT)

138.6

62.7

>100%

 

 

 

 

Net income (EAT)1

87.5

39.8

>100%

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share (EPS)1 in €

0.64

0.29

>100%

 

 

 

 

Research and development expenses

34.6

33.5

+ 4%

 

 

 

 

Capital expenditure on intangible assets and property, plant and equipment

29.6

31.5

- 6%

 

 

 

 

Headcount (June 30)

4,543

4,447

+ 2%

 

1 The figures relateto the continuing operations.


A conference call for analysts will take place today, August 8, 2007, at 3:00 p.m. (local time, CEST). More information on the relevant audio webcast, this press release and the interim financial 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 83% 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 manufacturers, 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 and varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments.

At present, the ALTANA Group has more than 31 production facilities and 45 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the group 4,500 people work to ensure the success of ALTANA worldwide. In 2006, ALTANA achieved sales of about 1.3 billion euros. Its impressive earnings power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most successful and innovative chemical groups worldwide.