Cologne, Germany – Lanxess had total net sales of EUR 1.7bn in the first quarter 2020, down 1.96% on the same period last year. EBITDA across the business fell by 9.9% to EUR 245m in the first quarter of 2020.
Earnings down at Lanxess in Q1
Exchange rates helped the business, but this benefit was offset by falling demand from the automotive sector in the quarter.
'So far, we have been able to keep the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic within limits,' said chairman Matthias Zachert.
He added: 'We know we have not reached the peak of the crisis. However, we feel well prepared, as we have stable positioning and have taken extensive measures for crisis management.'
Only plants in China, Italy, India and Argentina were temporarily shut down, said the company.
In the company's engineering materials business, net sales fell 9.2% between the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, to EUR 347m. This compares with EUR 382m in the equivalent period in 2019.
EBITDA in the division fell by 24.6% to EUR 49m in the first quarter of 2020, from EUR 65m in the equivalent period in 2019. Weak automotive demand because of the coronavirus pandemic took the shine off the numbers in this business, the company added.
Lanxess has stopped share buy-backs and will cut EUR 50m from its investment budget by postponing projects. It will also save between EUR 50m and EUR 100m in costs over the course of the year.