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Key financial data of Clariant in 2017.
Key financial data of Clariant in 2017.

Clariant announced full year 2017 sales of CHF 6.377 billion compared to CHF 5.847 billion in 2016. This corresponds to 9 % growth in local currency driven by double-digit gains in Catalysis and Natural Resources. The strong organic growth amounted to 6 %, driven byhigher volume contributions by all Business Areas.

For the full year, sales growth in local currency was strongest in Asia, the Middle East & Africa and Europe. Sales in Asia rose by 12 %, lifted by a remarkable sales development in China, Southeast Asia and Japan.

Sales growth in the Middle East & Africa was 15 % and in Europe 7 %. Sales in North America also increased by 11 %, it was mainly driven by acquisitions. Latin American sales were flat, however, showing signs of improvement in the second half of the year in an ongoing challenging macroeconomic environment.

The improved sales performance for the full year resulted from growth in all Business Areas. Both Care Chemicals and Catalysis reported particularly strong expansion.

Sales in Care Chemicals rose by 8 % in local currency supported by vigorous Consumer Care and Industrial Applications businesses. Catalysis sales were improved by an excellent 13 % with positive contributions from all Business Lines.

In Plastics & Coatings, sales rose by 5 % with sales expansion in all three Business Units and particular strength in China.

EBITDA before exceptional items rose by 10 % in Swiss francs and reached CHF 974 million, compared to CHF 887 million in the previous year. The corresponding EBITDA margin before exceptional items advanced to 15.3 %. Net income climbed by 15 % in Swiss francs to CHF 302 million from CHF 263 million in the previous year.

Further expansion in sales and profitability in Q4

In the fourth quarter of 2017, sales rose by 6 % in local currency to CHF 1.679 billion. This expansion resulted from sales improvements in all Business Areas. Organic sales growth was 5 % in local currency.

Almost all regions contributed to the growth. In Asia, sales in local currency grew by 10 % with a continuous strong development in China. Sales in Europe increased by 6 % in local currency, and in the Middle East & Africa by 11 % in local currency.

In the Americas, the picture was mixed. Though North America was slightly negative, Latin America showed a notable recovery and rose by a solid 7 % in local currency.

Expecting continued progression in 2018

Clariant expects the good economic environment in mature markets, which represent a high comparable base, to continue. Emerging markets are expected to be supportive with Latin America showing signs of a recovery.

For 2018, Clariant is confident to be able to achieve growth in local currency, as well as progression in operating cash flow, absolute EBITDA 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.

Clariant delivered exemplary top-line growth and absolute EBITDA improvement in 2017,” said CEO Hariolf Kottmann. “The results are particularly encouraging as all Business Areas contributed to this expansion. We are making progress based mainly on our innovation and sustainability positioning. For 2018, we are confident that we will further grow in local currency, operating cash flow and profitability.”

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