Cologne, Germany — Lanxess' engineering materials business sales fell 10% between the third quarter of 2018 and 2019. They were EUR 353m in the third quarter of 2019. This compares with EUR 394m in the 2018 period.
At the same time, EBITDA in the division, which contains the Chemtura business bought in 2017, declined by 16%. It hit EUR 59m in the third quarter of 2019. This compares with EUR 70m the 2018 period.
Volumes and prices were lower across the division than in Q3 2018. This is because of weakness at automotive customers and because raw materials prices were lower than the same period last year. These effects fed through from sales to EBITDA.
Total sales at the company were EUR 1.8bn in the third quarter of 2019. This is almost unchanged from than the same period in 2018.
EBITDA across the business fell 5% and hit EUR 238m the third quarter of 2019.
Sales were stable because favourable foreign exchange effects offset lower pricing and volumes. Weak performance in the automotive industry hit volumes. Lanxess also managed to exit some toll production agreements. These were less profitable than other businesses.
EBITDA fell because of weakness in the car industry and because plant utilisation was high in Q3 2018.
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Lanxess does not believe that automotive demand will improve in the final quarter.