Frankfurt / Wesel, Germany, May 5, 2008.

ALTANA Annual General Meeting approves dividend proposal

  • Regular dividend of €0.25
  • Special dividend of €0.26
  • Payout ratio of 33%
  • Total dividend payment of just under €70 million

At today’s Annual General Meeting in Frankfurt the shareholders of ALTANA AG (ALT) approved the dividend proposal made by the Supervisory and the Management Board. As a result, a regular dividend of €0.25 per share for the past business year will be distributed. This corresponds to a payout ratio of around 33% measured in terms of the net income (EAT), adjusted for the income from the investment of the purchase price for ALTANA Pharma (€35 million after taxes). This income will be fully distributed to ALTANA’s shareholders in the form of a special dividend amounting to €0.26 per share. Consequently, the shareholders will receive a dividend totaling €0.51 per share. The total dividend payment to the shareholders amounts to €69.4 million.

In the business year 2007, ALTANA achieved sales of €1,380.4 million. This is an increase of 7% on 2006. Adjusted for negative exchange rate effects of 3% as well as minor positive acquisition and divestment effects, operating sales growth was 9%. With a sales growth of 11% the Asian region posted the strongest growth, followed by Europe with a growth of 8%. About half of ALTANA’s sales, namely €678.0 million, were generated in Europe. Sales in Asia amounted to €329.7 million, with €149.8 million attributable to China. At €330.6 million, sales in North and South America remained almost unchanged.

At €248.5 million, ALTANA’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose disproportionately to sales by 33%. The EBITDA margin climbed from 14.4% to 18.0%, and was thus within the medium-term target corridor of 18% to 20% despite additional costs due to the two-tier holding structure which was maintained until mid-2007. All divisions were able to increase their EBITDA margins. Operating income (EBIT) totaled €166.6 million, and thus increased by 68% compared to the business year 2006. Earnings before taxes (EBT) amounted to €214.3 million, up from €93.2 million in the prior year. The 2007 figure includes an income of €55 million (before taxes) from the investment of the proceeds related to the sale of ALTANA Pharma. The proceeds were distributed to ALTANA’s shareholders in May 2007. ALTANA’s net income (EAT) amounted to €138.4 million. 

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.

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 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 32 production facilities and 46 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the group about 4,700 people work to ensure the success of ALTANA worldwide. In 2007, ALTANA achieved sales of about 1.4 billion Euros. Its impressive earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most successful and innovative chemical groups worldwide.