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2016-02-17

Clariant AG: Clariant significantly improves cash flow and for the 7th consecutive year increases margins

Clariant AG / Clariant significantly improves cash flow and for the 7th
consecutive yearincreases margins . Processed and transmitted by NASDAQ OMX
Corporate Solutions.The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this
announcement.
* Full-year 2015 sales rose by 3 % in local currencies to CHF 5.807 billion
* EBITDA margin before exceptional items rose 50 basis points to 14.7 %
* Operating cash flow improved significantly to CHF 502 million
* Net result from continuing operations was at CHF 227 million, comparable
with previous year
* 2016 outlook: continued progression in profitability and cash flow
generation despite increasingly challenging economic environment

"Despite the challenging economic environment throughout the year, we
continued to improve our performance again and have shown resilience," said
CEO Hariolf Kottmann. "Clariant has significantly improved its cash flow and
expanded its EBITDA margin on the back of a good performance of the Business
Areas Care Chemicals, Catalysis and Natural Resources. With this positive
development we have been able to offset the negative impact of the stronger
Swiss franc and deliver a net result comparable to 2014. For 2016, in spite
of the economic environment anticipated to become even more demanding, we
want to further progress in profitability and cash flow generation by
continuously launching new innovative solutions particularly in our higher
margin Business Areas."

Key Financial Data

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| Continuing operations: Fourth Quarter Full Year |
| in CHF million 2015 2014 % CHF % LC 2015 2014 % CHF % LC |
| Sales 1'526 1'586 -4 4 5'807 6'116 -5 3 |
| EBITDA before exceptional items 229 232 -1 7 853 867 -2 8 |
|- margin 15.0% 14.6% 14.7% 14.2% |
| EBIT before exceptional items 163 159 3 10 596 585 2 13 |
|- margin 10.7% 10.0% 10.3% 9.6% |
| EBIT 104 234 -56 -52 496 525 -6 4 |
| Net result from continuing operations 24 133 227 235 |
| Net income1 28 132 239 217 |
| Operating cash flow1 306 321 502 334 |
| Number of employees1 17'213 17 003 |
| Discontinued operations |
| Sales 0 0 0 98 |
| Net result from discontinued operations 4 -1 12 -18 |
| 1Total Group including discontinued operations |
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Full-year 2015 - significant improvement in cash flow generation

Muttenz, 17 February 2016 - Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals,
today announced full-year 2015 sales of CHF 5.807 billion compared to CHF
6.116 billion in 2014. This corresponds to a 3 % growth in local currencies
mainly driven by higher volumes. Due to the strong currency headwind, sales
in Swiss francs decreased by 5 %.

Growth in the Americas was good, with sales in local currencies up 19 % in
Latin America and 4 % in North America. Europe was 1 % lower in local
currencies impacted by a weaker end-market demand.

Lower growth came from the regions Asia / Pacific and Middle East&Africa.
Sales in Asia / Pacific decreased by 1 % in local currencies and were
affected by a weak demand in China, which could not be compensated by the
stronger demand of smaller economies in Asia. In the Middle East&Africa
region, sales were down 6 % year-on-year in local currencies.

The improved business performance stemmed primarily from higher growth in the
Business Areas Care Chemicals, Catalysis and Natural Resources. In Care
Chemicals sales in local currencies were up 4 %, reaching CHF 1.445 billion.
Adjusted for the portfolio change, on a like-for-like basis, growth in local
currency was 6 % year-on-year.

Sales in Catalysis rose by 4 % in local currencies to CHF 704 million fueled
by strong growth in Petrochemicals and Syngas. Sales growth year-on-year was
impacted by the divestment of the Energy Storage business in February 2015.
On a like-for-like basis sales in Catalysis have grown by 7 % versus the
previous year.

Despite the difficult market environment, sales in Natural Resources grew by 4
% in local currencies reaching sales of CHF 1.217 billion primarily driven by
the Oil and Mining Services business.

In Plastics&Coatings, sales in local currencies grew slightly by 1 % to CHF
2.441 billion, despite the very challenging environment in Pigments resulting
from the weak demand in Europe and China.

The gross margin of 30.8 % was above the previous year's level of 29.0 %,
benefiting from a positive mix effect, lower raw material costs and
reclassification of costs to SG&A.

The EBITDA before exceptional items from continuing operations reached CHF 853
million up 8 % in local currencies year-on-year resulting from a favorable
volume mix.

The EBITDA b.e.i. margin increased to 14.7 % by 50 basis points above the
previous year's level. The margin expansion came predominantly from the
Business Areas Care Chemicals, Catalysis, as well as Natural Resources, which
all significantly increased the EBITDA margins throughout 2015 compared to
the previous year. In Plastics&Coatings, margins decreased due to the
increasing challenging markets especially in Pigments throughout 2015.

Net income from continuing operations amounted to CHF 227 million comparable
to CHF 235 million in the previous year. The lower tax expense could offset
the higher financial costs as well as the lower gains from divestments versus
2014. The tax rate in 2015 was 24.3 %, significantly lower than the previous
year.

Operating cash flow rose significantly to CHF 502 million versus CHF 334
million year-on-year stemming from a sustainable net working capital
management.

Net debt at CHF 1.312 billion was slightly higher compared to the CHF 1.263
billion recorded at year-end 2014.

Despite the more difficult economic environment as well as the significant
appreciation of the Swiss franc, the solid performance allows the board of
directors to propose to the Annual General Meeting a dividend of CHF 0.40 per
share at the same level as in the previous year following an 11 % dividend
increase the year earlier. The distribution is proposed to be made from the
capital contribution reserve that is exempt from Swiss withholding tax.

Fourth quarter 2015 - More margin expansion

In the fourth quarter of 2015, Clariant sales grew by 4 % in local currency to
CHF 1.526 billion. Due to the strong currency headwind, sales decreased by 4
% in Swiss francs. Volumes were up 4 % compared to the previous year period.

In the fourth quarter, growth stemmed from the higher growth business areas,
primarily Catalysis and Natural Resources. Care Chemicals reported sales of
CHF 370 million up only 3 % in local currencies impacted by a very weak
de-icing business due to the mild weather in the fourth quarter. Catalysis
sales in local currencies grew by 6 % to CHF 241 million versus the previous
year period. Sales in the Natural Resources Business Area were up 7 % in
local currencies to CHF 329 million, and sales in Plastics&Coatings were CHF
586 million, an increase of 3 % in local currencies.

On a regional level, Latin America achieved double-digit growth in local
currencies of 19 %. North America increased sales by 2 % in local currency,
Europe was up 1 % in local currency, while Asia was down 1 % versus the
previous year.

The gross margin was higher year-on-year, at 30 % compared to 28.8 % thanks to
a better mix effect, lower raw material costs and reclassification of costs
to SG&A. The EBITDA margin before exceptional items expanded to 15.0 % from
14.6 % in the fourth quarter of 2014 primarily driven by Catalysis and
Natural Resources.

Net income from continuing operations was CHF 24 million. This is above the
previous year figure on a like-for-like basis adjusting for the one-time book
gain from disposals relating to land sales in India in Q4 2014.

Operating cash flow amounted to CHF 306 million, compared to CHF 321 million
year-on-year.

Outlook 2016 - to
progress EBITDA margin and operating cash flow

Despite the difficult environment in 2015, Clariant could demonstrate its
ability to sustainably improve its business performance by continuously
launching new innovative products and solutions particularly in its higher
margin Business Areas Care Chemicals, Catalysis and Natural Resources.

Clariant expects the uncertain environment, characterized by a high volatility
in commodity prices and currencies, to further deteriorate. In emerging
markets, we anticipate the economic environment to become more challenging
and with increased volatility; we expect moderate growth in the United
States, while growth in Europe is expected to remain stable but weak.

For 2016, in spite of the increasingly challenging economic environment,
Clariant is confident to achieve growth in local currencies, as well as
progression in operating cash flow and EBITDA margin before exceptional
items.

Clariant confirms its mid-term target of reaching 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.

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| CORPORATE MEDIA RELATIONS INVESTOR RELATIONS |
| Carsten Seum Anja Pomrehn |
| |
| |
| |
|Phone +41 61 469 63 63 Phone +41 61 469 67 45 |
|carsten.seum@clariant.com anja.pomrehn@clariant.com |
| Stefanie Nehlsen |
| |
| |
| |
|Phone +41 61 469 63 63 |
|stefanie.nehlsen@clariant.com ...

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