“In the third quarter, Arkema achieved a solid performance in a mixed economic environment, in the continuity of second quarter,” said Thierry Le Hénaff, chairman and CEO of Arkema. “The strengthening of the euro also impacted the Group's results. However, market conditions appeared to have stabilized, which could be a base for a gradual recovery in Europe next year.
“The High Performance Materials segment reported a high margin in a less supportive environment than last year. In the fourth quarter, EBITDA of this segment should be above last year as expected. Despite the increase in raw material costs, the Coating Solutions segment achieved a stable performance, sustained by strong volumes in North America. The Industrial Specialties segment continued to be affected by the weakness in fluorogases and PMMA in Europe,” he added.
“Arkema actively continued to implement its strategy: strengthening in emerging countries, targeted growth in the United States, innovation on sustainable development megatrends, and emphasis on competitiveness,” Le Hénaff concluded.
Sales in the third quarter of 2013 stood at €1,495 million, close to third quarter 2012 sales at constant scope of business and exchange rates. Volumes were up overall (+0.9%), sustained by the Coating Solutions segment which benefited from growth capex in North America in a favorably oriented market.
The -2.0% price/product mix effect primarily reflected a rise in raw material costs for acrylics, a decrease in price of certain fluorogases, and a less favorable product mix in High Performance Materials. The -2.5% scope of business effect corresponded to the divestment of the tin stabilizer business. The significant translation effect (-3.4%) was related to the sharp decrease of the US dollar and the yen vs the euro.
In a less favorable economic environment than last year, Arkema reported €233 million EBITDA against €266 million in 3rd quarter 2012. The High Performance Materials segment achieved a good performance, albeit significantly down from third quarter 2012, which represented a very high basis of comparison, sustained at the time by strong demand in the oil and gas and the photovoltaic markets. The Coating Solutions segment confirmed its resilience despite a significant increase in the cost of raw materials. The Industrial Specialties segment was affected by challenging market conditions in fluorogases and PMMA in Europe.
EBITDA margin reached 15.6%. This good level reflects the strong positions which Arkema has developed in specialty chemicals.