ERJ staff report (DS)
Leverkusen, Germany - Speciality chemicals group Lanxess AG is confident for the business year 2010 after ending 2009 with a strong final quarter. This optimism is supported by the continuous positive development of the Asia/Pacific region as well as savings generated from group-wide measures.
â€œWe therefore expect a significant year-on-year improvement in earnings, even if there is currently no sign of a self-sustaining upswing,â€ said Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Lanxess AG, presenting the company's 2009 results in Cologne.
The company was, as expected, hit hard by the global downturn in 2009. Group sales fell by 23.1 percent year-on-year to EUR 5,057 million due to weak global demand. EBITDA pre exceptionals, at EUR 465 million, came in at the upper end of the adjusted target corridor of EUR 450 to 470 million. Lanxess posted EBITDA pre exceptionals of EUR 722 million in 2008.
The fourth quarter of 2009 ran counter to the usual seasonal trend at Lanxess. In the final weeks of the year, the rubber business in particular was buoyed by the positive development in Asia and strong demand for winter tyres in Europe and North America.
The Performance Polymers segment -- which includes the rubber activity -- saw sales drop markedly as a result of the worldwide economic crisis, although the upturn in demand in Asia in the second half cushioned the decline to some degree. Sales fell by 27.2 percent year-on-year to EUR 2,388 million. EBITDA pre exceptionals shrank by 39.5 percent to EUR 250 million, but the EBITDA margin stayed in the double-digit range at 10.5 percent.
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Press release from Lanxess