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Specialty Chemicals – Overview


  • Revenue increase of 6 percent, volumes up 15 percent
  • Broad demand improvement in both mature and high growth markets
  • EBITDA increased 37 percent to €207 million (2009: €151 million)
  • EBITDA margin 17.9 percent (2009: 13.8 percent)
  • Strong results in all units, most notably Functional Chemicals and Surface Chemistry
  • Divestment of PTA Pakistan had a decreasing effect on revenue of 5 percent
  • National Starch activities reclassified into discontinued operations

The increase in demand evident in late 2009 gained momentum during the first quarter of 2010. Nearly all businesses experienced a recovery in demand in the mature markets, while strong growth also returned to higher growth markets. Accordingly, the combination of restocking, market share gains and improved fundamental demand led to a volume increase of 15 percent in the quarter. Average pricing was relatively stable versus Q4 2009, but was 6 percent below Q1 2009 levels. The divestment effect of 5 percent reflects the sale of our stake in PTA Pakistan. Overall, revenue increased 6 percent compared with Q1 2009, including a favorable currency translation effect of 2 percent.

Product mix and sustained margin management efforts led to margin improvement for the quarter, although raw material costs increased due to higher oil and feedstock prices. In addition, cost containment and cost reduction initiatives favorably impacted our cost base. With operating costs well controlled, the incremental contribution margin was largely delivered to the bottom line. As a result, EBITDA was €207 million, 37 percent above Q1 last year. As percentage of revenue, the EBITDA margin was 17.9 percent (2009:13.8 percent).

Specialty Chemicals – Revenue development Q1 2010 (bar chart)
Specialty Chemicals – Brands (logos)
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