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Clariant after the first 9 months of 2000: Sales growth at Clariant continues
24-10-2000: Sales after 9 months up +17% in Swiss francs and +12% in local currencies
Good performance in Europe; gratifying growth in Asia
Assessment of earnings prospects more optimistic
In the first 9 months of 2000, Clariant posted sales of CHF 7,940 million, an increase on the year-back period of +17% in Swiss francs and +12% in local currencies. The company thus succeeded in maintaining the pace of growth it had set in the first half of the year. In local currency terms, there was even a slight increase compared with the second quarter of 2000. Cleaned of the acquisition effect of the British fine chemicals company BTP, sales growth was +9% in CHF and +4% in LC. Clariant expects business momentum to sustain for the rest of the year. Efforts to boost product innovation, a stronger focus on marketing and services, and additional cost-cutting measures are having an increasingly positive impact.
The Textile, Leather & Paper Chemicals Division (+16% in Swiss francs/+9% in LC) reported strong growth particularly in Asia and South America. An ongoing drive to optimize capacity in Textile Dyes resulted in plants running at high capacity worldwide. The Textile Chemicals business remained buoyant owing to energetic steps to improve product innovation. In the Leather business unit, demand for dye and finishing chemicals for shoes and leather garments continued to gain momentum. The integration of BTP's leather business is having an increasingly positive impact. The paper sector, with its broad range of dyes and chemicals, performed well.
The Pigments & Additives Division (+14%/+8%), maintained its high level of business activity, especially in Europe and Asia. High-performance pigments, an area where Clariant is leading, again posted very strong sales gains. In the red pigments range, Clariant closed a gap by launching its innovative Novoperm® pigment. Sustained sales growth was reported for products used in non impact printing. The Ink Pigments business unit also achieved high sales volumes, particularly with products for the offset market and the printing of packaging. In the Additives segment, waxes and flame-retardant enjoyed buoyant demand. The high-performance light stabilizer Hostavin®, which is already being successfully used in plastics (e.g. for greenhouses in agriculture or for seating in sports stadiums), received FDA approval, which will substantially increase the range of potential applications.
For the Masterbatches Division (+11%/+7%) the focus on technically demanding segments has paid off, as it is driving greater growth. Demand for masterbatches for coloring cosmetic packaging, electronic equipment and so forth continues at a high level. At the Ahrensburg plant in Germany, a new line was brought on stream for the manufacture of blowing agents. The products, marketed under the brand name Hydrocerol®, are used to manufacture the foamed plastics used in piping insulation or in packaging for fresh fruit and meat. At present, new and promising masterbatches are being launched for the production of compact disc blanks, as used by the entertainment and computer industries, colored in ten different shades of color. A global brand strategy for leading-edge technology segments is being implemented with five different brands to simplify selection, manufacturing and delivery of suitable materials.
The Functional Chemicals Division (+6%/+2%) improved its performance slightly compared with the first half of 2000; the increase since the beginning of the year was due almost entirely to BTP. Sales figures declined since the Business Unit adjusted its product range of detergent raw materials to satisfy changing customer needs. Following far-reaching restructuring measures in this area, Functional Chemicals has now created the conditions for strong internal growth. Performance Chemicals experienced a brisk demand for hair and consumer care products as well as for polishing chemicals for silicon wafers. The Biocides business uni
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