Clariant says Q3 figures up, but warns economic slowdown will continue
Announcing third quarter sales of CHF1.87bn (£1. 34bn), up 1.3% on the previous year, Swiss chemicals giant Clariant warned the economic slowdown would continue, with weak demand evident across Europe. The Sűd-Chemie business, acquired eight months ago, contributed CHF356m (£255m), while higher prices also helped boost the group’s top line figures. Excluding the contribution from Sűd-Chemie, turnover rose 5%, driven by a 9% hike in sales prices, while volumes dipped 4% on the previous year, which Clariant said was the result of demand softening and “the deliberate loss of unprofitable contracts”. The company said turnover was 25% higher in local currencies but had suffered because of the strength of the Swiss franc. Unfavourable currency developments also had a negative effect on operating profits, which were down 38% to CHF144m (£103m). Clariant said it expected sales for 2011 to come in between CHF7bn (£5bn) and CHF7.2bn (£5.2bn) and an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation margin before exceptionals of between 12.8% and 13.2%.