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ALTANA Posts Robust Growth in the First Six Months of 2007


ALTANA AG substantially increased sales and earnings in the first six months of 2007 compared to the previous year. Sales increased by 7 percent, rising from €659.0 million to €705.7 million. Adjusted for negative exchange rate effects of 3 percent as well as slightly positive acquisition effects, the operating sales growth rate was 9 percent.

The growth in sales was particularly strong in Europe (10 percent) and Asia (8 percent). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 22 percent from €103.1 million to €125.2 million, based on double-digit earnings increases in all divisions. The EBITDA margin was 17.7 percent, despite additional costs due to the dual holding structure with the headquarters in Wesel and Bad Homburg, which was maintained until the middle of the year.

All four divisions contributed to the substantial growth of ALTANA.
Sales in the largest division, BYK Additives & Instruments, climbed from €214.1 million in the prior year to €229.6 million; this translates into an increase of 7 percent. EBITDA was up from €63.9 million to €70.5 million, an increase of 10 percent.

ECKART Effect Pigments posted an increase of 8 percent, with sales rising from €165.7 million to €178.9 million. EBITDA grew significantly from €34.1 million to €43.9 million, and was therefore up by 29 percent.

ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants improved sales by 2 percent, generating €114.3 million (prior year: €111.5 million). EBITDA climbed from €11.5 million to €12.9 million, corresponding to an increase of 12 percent.

Sales of ELANTAS Electrical Insulation grew by 9 percent, up from €167.7 million to €182.9 million. EBITDA amounted to €28.2 million, and was therefore up by €5.7 million or 27 percent compared to the first half of 2006 (€22.5 million).

“In the first half-year of our new group structure as a pure specialty chemicals company we have demonstrated a very satisfying development and were able to increase sales and earnings substantially,“ stated Dr. Matthias Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. “We have thus successfully lived up to the confidence placed in us by the capital markets and the general public after the new start of ALTANA and we are well positioned to continue our path of profitable growth into the future.“