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LANXESS Q3 earnings exceed forecast


Q3 sales EUR 1.37 billion, up 11 % vs. Q2

LANXESS AG delivered a strong operating performance in the third quarter of 2009, with EBITDA pre exceptionals of EUR 143 million. The specialty chemicals company had expected third quarter operating earnings around the level of second quarter earnings of EUR 112 million.
EBITDA pre exceptionals was down 26 percent year-on-year but rose 28 percent from the second quarter due to an improved macroeconomic environment worldwide, driven by China, as well as savings yielded by the “Challenge09-12” package of measures. Another key performance metric – EBITDA pre exceptionals margin – was 10.4 percent; higher than the previous quarter and nearly reaching last year’s level.
Sales in the third quarter fell by 24 percent year-on-year to EUR 1.37 billion but rose 11 percent quarter-on-quarter. A slight restocking was visible in the third quarter with a number of customers in Performance Polymers bringing forward their purchases ahead of announced price increases for the fourth quarter. Net income was positive for the second consecutive quarter at EUR 23 million.
Operating cash flow rose to EUR 432 million in the first nine months of 2009 from EUR 309 million a year earlier. Net debt at the end of September rose slightly by 8 percent to EUR 779 million from the end of June due to the company’s acquisition of chemical assets belonging to India’s Gwalior and China’s Jiangsu Polyols. Net debt at the end of 2008 was EUR 864 million.
“LANXESS has proved once again that it can successfully deal with the effects of the economic crisis,” said Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG. “Our self-help measures coupled with an improved economic climate, in particular in China, has supported us in delivering a very respectable third quarter performance.”

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