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Clariant AG: Clariant with promising start to the year

Clariant AG / Clariant AG: Clariant with promising start to the year.
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solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
* First quarter 2014 sales from continuing operations increased 5% in local
currencies. In Swiss francs, sales decreased 2% to CHF 1.49 billion from
CHF 1.53 billion in the first quarter of 2013
* EBITDA margin before exceptional items reached 14.1% compared to 13.7%
* Net result from continuing operations fell to CHF -39 million from CHF 38
million, exclusively due to an impairment charge of CHF 84 million related
to the divestment of the ASK Chemicals joint venture
* For full-year 2014, Clariant expects low to mid single-digit sales growth
in local currencies and an EBITDA margin before exceptional items above
full-year 2013

"Clariant had a promising start to the year with good volume growth and an
increase in operating profitability," said CEO Hariolf Kottmann. "Overall,
our businesses performed well in an improving but still mixed economic
environment. The picture has been somewhat clouded by unfavorable currency
developments, a mild winter in Europe, and an impairment charge related to
the divestment of the ASK Chemicals joint venture. However, after the first
three months, Clariant is well on course to meet its full-year targets."

Key financial data

|Continuing operations: First quarter |
|In CHF million 2014 2013 %CHF %LC |
|Sales 1 492 1 526 -2 5 |
|EBITDA before exceptional items 210 209 0 8 |
|- margin 14.1% 13.7% |
|EBIT before exceptional items 140 141 -1 10 |
|- margin 9.4% 9.2% |
|EBIT 41 119 -66 -54 |
|Net result from continuing operations -39 38 |
|Net loss/income1 -48 50 |
|Operating cash flow1 -51 -72 |
|Number of employees1 17 268 18 099* |
|Discontinued operations: |
|Sales 66 421 |
|Net result from discontinued operations -9 12 |
1total Group including discontinued operations

*as of 31 December 2013

First quarter 2014 - Good sales growth driven by higher volumes

Muttenz, 30 April 2014 - Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals,
today announced first quarter 2014 sales from continuing operations of CHF
1.492 billion compared to CHF 1.526 billion in the first quarter of 2013.
This corresponds to an increase of 5% in local currencies. The 5% organic
sales growth was driven by 4% higher volumes and an increase in prices of 1%.

Good sales growth in local currencies was strongly impacted by unfavorable
currency developments in the emerging markets as well as in North America.
The adverse currency environment implied a sales growth of -2% in Swiss
francs, mainly due to the year on year weakness of the Brazilian real, Indian
rupee, Japanese yen, and US dollar.

Clariant posted strong local currency sales growth of 15% in Latin America.
Sales in Asia/Pacific increased 11% in local currencies, driven by 33% higher
sales in both China and India. In the Middle East&Africa region, sales were
10% higher year on year in local currencies as all Business Areas recorded
growth in the region. In North America, a strong de-icing season offset the
winter-related softness in other businesses, leading to 1% sales growth in
local currencies. Europe was 1% lower due to unfavorable weather conditions,
which particularly impacted Northern and Central Europe. Southern Europe, on
the other hand, showed growth from a low base.

All Business Areas with the exception of Care Chemicals achieved mid to high
single-digit sales growth. Care Chemicals was flat year on year, exclusively
due to a virtually non-existent de-icing season in Europe. Excluding
de-icing, growth in Care Chemicals was on a par with the other Business
Areas. Catalysis&Energy opened the year on a positive note and confirmed the
expected recovery in 2014. Natural Resources achieved good growth in both the
Oil&Mining Services and Functional Minerals businesses. In the
Plastics&Coatings Business Area, solid growth was accomplished in all areas,
particularly in Pigments.

At 28.9%, the gross margin was down from 29.2% in the prior-year period due to
an unfavorable sales mix and a negative currency impact. This was partially
compensated by lower costs for the underutilization of production capacities
and 1% higher sales prices.

The EBITDA before exceptional items from continuing operations rose 8% in
local currencies and reached CHF 210 million, on a par with the CHF 209
million recorded in the previous year. The corresponding EBITDA margin
improved to 14.1%, compared to 13.7% in the first quarter of 2013. The
increase in margin was supported by ongoing cost discipline and higher income
from associates and joint ventures compared to the previous year.

Exceptional items including restructuring, impairment, and transaction-related
costs increased to CHF 99 million compared to CHF 22 million in the first
quarter of 2013. This was entirely due to a CHF 84 million non-cash
impairment charge related to the divestment of the ASK Chemicals joint
venture, which was announced in the second quarter of 2014. As a consequence
of the impairment, a net loss from continuing operations of CHF 39 million
was recorded, compared to a net income of CHF 38 million in the previous

Following the normal seasonal pattern, operating cash flow was negative at
CHF -51 million versus CHF -72 million one year ago. Operating cash flow is
expected to gradually improve as the year progresses.

Net debt stood at CHF 1.562 billion and was therefore slightly higher than the
CHF 1.500 billion recorded at year-end 2013. The gearing, reflecting net
financial debt in relation to equity, rose to 60% from 54% at the end of

Changes in reporting structure effective since 1 January 2013

Clariant has meanwhile stringently executed the announced divestments of the
five businesses Textile Chemicals, Paper Specialties, Emulsions,
Detergents&Intermediates and Leather Services. With the closing on 30
September 2013, Clariant sold its Textile Chemicals, Paper Specialties, and
Emulsions businesses to SK Capital. On 15 October 2013, the disposal of
Detergents&Intermediates (D&I) to the International Chemical Investors Group
(ICIG) was announced and closed effective as of 1 January 2014. The
divestment of the Leather Services business to Stahl Holdings B.V. was
announced on 30 October 2013 and is expected to close in the second quarter
of 2014, subject to regulatory approval. Clariant will hold a 23% stake in
the combined entity. Hence, all five businesses have been reported as
"discontinued operations" since 1 January 2013.

In the first quarter of 2014, discontinued operations generated sales of CHF
66 million (Leather Services) compared to CHF 421 million (Textile Chemicals,
Paper Specialties, Emulsions, Detergents&Intermediates, Leather Services) in
the first quarter of 2013, and a net result of CHF -9 million compared to an
income of CHF 12 million in the first quarter of 2013. The net result from
discontinued operations in 2013 includes book losses, project and separation
costs, and currency translation adjustments related to the divestment of the
Detergents&Intermediates and the Leather Services businesses.

Outlook confirmed - Focus on performance, growth and innovation

For 2014, Clariant expects the business environment to remain challenging with
heterogeneous global economic developments and volatile currency markets. The
general economic environment in the emerging markets is expected to remain
favorable but mixed, while moderate growth should continue in the advanced
economies, in particular in the United States. In this scenario, Clariant
will focus on profitably growing the four Business Areas and on cost

For full-year 2014, Clariant expects low to mid single-digit sales growth in
local currencies and an EBITDA margin before exceptional items above
full-year 2013.

Clariant confirms its mid-term target of achieving a position in the top tier
of the specialty chemicals industry. This corresponds to an EBITDA margin
before exceptional items in the range of 16% to 19% and a return on invested
capital (ROIC) above the peer group average in 2015 and beyond.

|Corporate Media Relations Investor Relations |
|Kai Rolker Ulrich Steiner |
| |
| |
| |
|Phone +41 61 469 63 63 Phone +41 61 469 67 45 |
|kai.rolker@clariant.com ulrich.steiner@clariant.com |
|Stefanie Nehlsen Siegfried Schwirzer |
| |
| |
| |
|Phone +41 61 469 63 63 Phone +41 61 469 67 49 |
|stefanie.nehlsen@clariant.com siegfried.schwirzer@clariant.com |

Financial Review Q1 2014
Press Release english
Press Release german


This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Clariant AG via Globenewswire


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