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ALTANA AG Reports Excellent Business Year 2007


In the past business year, the specialty chemicals group
ALTANA achieved dynamic sales growth and disproportionate increases in earnings.

“Our business performance in the first year as a pure specialty chemicals company was excellent and we were able to surpass our own ambitious targets,“ said Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. “We are very confident to be able to continue our dynamic and profitable growth in 2008.”

In the past business year, ALTANA achieved sales of €1,380.4 million, which is an increase of about 7 percent on 2006. With a sales growth of 11 percent, the Asian region posted the strongest growth, followed by Europe with a growth of 8 percent. About half of ALTANA’s sales, €678.0 million, were generated in Europe. Sales in Asia amounted to €329.7 million, with €149.8 million attributable to China. At €330.6 million, sales in North and South America remained almost unchanged.

At €248.5 million, ALTANA’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose disproportionately to sales. This corresponds to an increase of 33 percent or €62.3 million on the prior year. The EBITDA margin climbed from 14.4 percent to 18 percent. All divisions were able to expand their EBITDA margins.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, the ALTANA Group employed 4,646 people, compared to 4,484 in the prior year. Group-wide research and development expenses reached 4.9 percent of sales, whereas the industry average is about 2 to 3 percent.

Positive development in all divisions

The BYK Additives & Instruments division achieved sales of €445.1 million, up from €409.1 million in the prior year. This translates as an increase of 9 percent. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 13 percent, up from €117.8 million to €132.6 million.

ECKART Effect Pigments posted an increase of 7 percent, with sales rising from €338.8 million to €362.9 million. The EBITDA grew by 19 percent to €79.7 million (prior year: €67.2 million).

Sales in the ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants division were up from €220.7 million to €221.6 million in the past business year. The increase in earnings was much more dynamic: The EBITDA climbed by 13 percent, rising from €23.5 million in 2006 to €26.7 million in 2007.

For the current business year, ALTANA expects continued positive demand for specialty chemicals products. However, the demand growth should be slower compared to 2007. Raw materials prices should remain at their current high level.