ALTANA AG increased first-half consolidated sales in 2006 by 24% to €1.93 billion. This growth is due to the very good operating performance of ALTANA Pharma and ALTANA Chemie. The acquisition of the ECKART Group also contributed to this excellent development. Adjusted for currency and acquisition/divestment effects, operating sales increased by 10%. ALTANA’s earnings before taxes (EBT) rose by 8% to €382 million.
“Our first half-year performance provides impressive confirmation that we are on the way to achieving our ambitious growth goals set for the whole of 2006,” said Dr. Nikolaus Schweickart, president and CEO of ALTANA AG.
ALTANA Chemie AG, Wesel, achieved sales of €659 million in the first six months of 2006. This represents a 56% increase on the prior year’s figure. Adjusted for exchange rate as well as acquisition and divestment effects, ALTANA Chemie achieved an operating growth of 10%.
Sales increases were achieved in all regions. Due to acquisitions, the regions of North and Latin America achieved the strongest growth: sales were up 100% to €135 million in North America; in Latin America sales rose by 66% to €34 million. Thanks in particular to the revival in demand in China, business in Asia was up by 52% to €150 million. Sales in Europe (excluding Germany) were up by 33% on the prior year to €209 million. Sales in Germany were up by 78% to €112 million.
All divisions of ALTANA Chemie contributed to the good first-half results with double-digit growth in sales. Sales in the largest division, Additives & Instruments climbed by 16% to €214 million. Effect Pigments (ECKART), the new division consolidated as of Oct. 1, 2005, contributed €166 million in the first six months of 2006. The Coatings & Sealants division reported a mainly acquisition-driven increase in sales of 26% to