From European Plastics News
Essen, Germany -- Chemicals group Evonik says a recent upturn in volumes should lead to stable earnings in 2010, despite a drop in sales in 2009.
The Essen, Germany-headquartered company said it expects 2010 sales to rise year-on-year, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) should at least match the 2009 level of Euro 2000 million.
Dr Klaus Engel, Evonik ceo said that even though the economic outlook is still uncertain, he believes the company has "the potential for positive surprises."
In 2009, Evonik sales dropped 18 percent to Euro 13 100 million. However, Ebitda dropped only 6 percent to Euro 2000 million in 2009 - compared to a 34-percent decrease for the first six months of the year. The company attributed the improvement to "strict cost discipline."
Cost savings were Euro 500 million for the year and the firm reduced its net financial debts by Euro 1200 million to Euro 3400 million.
Evonik said in its 2009 results statement that the performance of its chemicals division -- which houses the Evonik Goldschmidt polyurethane additives business -- varied during the year. Despite initial signs of an upturn, businesses relying on the automotive, construction and plastics industries were badly affected by the crisis. Sales dropped 15 percent to Euro 10 000 million, while Ebitda dropped 1 percent to Euro 1600 million.
But the group said there are "clear signals for new international growth," such as Evonik's new production complex for polymers, polymer pre-products and coating systems coming on stream in Shanghai (China), in 2009. At a cost of Euro 250 million, Evonik said, this was the second-largest investment project ever undertaken by the business area.