The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA was able to achieve a significant increase in its sales and earnings in the first half of 2014. Sales in the first six months of the current fiscal year grew by 11 percent to
€985 million (previous year: €887 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached €212 million, which is an increase of 19 percent compared to the previous year (€178 million). The EBITDA margin increased from an already high level of 20.1 percent to 21.5 percent. "Mainly due to the acquisition of Rockwood's rheology business, we were able to accelerate our profitable growth as planned,” stated Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of
Adjusted for the acquisition-related growth contribution (10 percent) and negative exchange rate effects (2 percent), operating sales in the first six months of 2014 rose by 4 percent. This growth was driven by higher sales volumes and the sale of even higher value-added products.
Additives business posts strong growth due to acquisition
The BYK Additives & Instruments division achieved the strongest growth within the Group. At BYK, sales rose by 30 percent to €436 million, mainly as a result of acquisition effects. Adjusted for acquisition and exchange rate effects, sales increased by 8 percent.
With an increase of 1 percent respectively, sales in the ELANTAS Electrical Insulation (€218 million) and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants divisions (€168 million) were similar to the previous year's level. Adjusted for various exchange rate effects, ELANTAS achieved growth of 5 percent, while sales at ACTEGA were down by 1 percent. ECKART Effect Pigments recorded a decline in sales by 4 percent, with sales down to €162 million. Adjusted for negative exchange rate effects, sales decreased by 3 percent.
Business in the Americas strengthened, Europe returns to growth
With an increase in sales of 21 percent, ALTANA posted by far the strongest growth in the Americas region. This growth was mainly driven by the acquisition of Rockwood's rheology business. Adjusted for acquisition and exchange rate effects, sales in this region grew by 4 percent. Business in Europe was also positively influenced by acquisitions. Sales in this region, which is by far the largest market for ALTANA, improved by 9 percent. Even adjusted for acquisition effects, business in Europe returned to growth with an increase in sales of 3 percent. Asia contributed 6 percent to sales growth (adjusted for exchange rate effects, the region contributed 4 percent to growth).
ALTANA confirms its forecast for the full year and still anticipates a high single-digit increase in sales. Adjusted for acquisition and exchange rate effects, the planned sales growth is expected to be in the low to medium single-digit percentage range.