Muttenz, Switzerland - Clariant's Pigments & Additives division, which includes the company's Exolit flame retardants for polyurethane, recorded a 25 percent drop in sales to CHF 384 million ($377 million) in the third quarter of 2009 (Q3), Clariant said 4 Nov.
In terms of region, Pigments & Additives saw some growth in Latin America while Europe and North America did not improve significantly from the previous quarter, the company said. Asia was mixed, as business continues to develop well in China, "while other markets remain weak," Clariant added.
The speciality chemical company's overall sales declined 19 percent in Q3 to CHF 1691 million, from the same period last year. Earnings before exceptional items fell 33 percent to CHF 163 million.
The company has already cut 1917 jobs as part of restructuring efforts and has identified a further 800 redundancies. The total number of staff is expected to be under 18 000 by the end of the year, compared to 20 102 at the end of 2008.
Assuming the global economy will recover slowly, Clariant estimates restructuring costs of around CHF 200-300 million in 2009.
"Sales declines of more than 20 percent in some businesses indicate that despite a stabilisation in demand, we are still far from a sustainable recovery," said Clariant ceo, Hariolf Kottmann. "In this environment, our cost savings have not yet been sufficient to fully compensate for the demand weakness," Kottman said, adding that the company would continue to implement additional restructuring and cost saving measures. (RD)