Clariant fourth-quarter core profit falls 31% but beats estimates

© Reuters. A woman stands next to a logo of Swiss specialty chemicals company Clariant ahead of a news conference to present the company’s full-year results, in Zurich, Switzerland, February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Moritz Hager/file photo

By Antonis Pothitos and Marta Frackowiak

(Reuters) -Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant posted a 31% fall in its fourth-quarter core profit on Thursday but it came ahead of analysts’ expectations.

It reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of 106 million Swiss francs ($120.70 million), compared with 154 million francs a year ago, citing lower volumes, restructuring expenses and a hit due to the shutting down of the sunliquid bioethanol production in Romania.

But the EBITDA beat a company-provided analysts’ poll of 72 million francs.

It also reported sales of 1.06 billion francs for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, down 10% organically in local currency from a year earlier.

Clariant said, however, it saw volume growth during the quarter as end markets stabilized.

“Robust performance in the quarter was nevertheless below the strong base of the prior year, when Catalysts delivered record sales,” Chief Executive Conrad Keijzer said in a statement.

For 2024, the company sees low single-digit annual local currency growth and an improvement in reported EBITDA margin to around 15%.

In 2025, on the basis of an expected 3%–5% improvement in key end market demand, Clariant expects to achieve an EBITDA margin of 17%–18%, in line with current consensus forecasts.

Keijzer said in a media call he expected 2025 to be a “year of significant profitability improvement”.

With inflation easing, he added that he expected demand for durable goods to increase in 2025 and said he is confident in achieving the company’s medium-term targets when market growth stabilizes.

The company also said it would propose the payment of 0.42 per share for 2023, unchanged from last year.

($1 = 0.8782 Swiss francs)


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