ALTANA recorded in the third quarter of 2009 another clear recovery of its business. The sequential increase in sales and earnings from quarter to quarter, however, was not strong enough to compensate for the bad results, particularly from the first quarter of 2009.
In total, ALTANA posted sales of €872.2 million for the period January to September 2009, compared to €1,067.5 million in the same period a year ago. This corresponds to a decline of 18 percent. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) decreased by 35 percent, from €213.1 million to €139.4 million.
Even though, at 16.0%, the present EBITDA margin is lower than the prior-year value (20 percent), it is already clearly higher than the one for the first six months of 2009 (12.6 percent).
Sales in the BYK Additives & Instruments division totaled €311.5 million, a decrease of 14 percent on the prior-year figure of €361.5 million. ECKART Effect Pigments posted sales of €207.2 million, corresponding to a decline of 26 percent on the same period last year (€281.6 million). The ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants division proved the most resilient to the economic crisis; here, sales in the first nine months of the business year decreased only 7 percent from €165.6 million to €153.5 million.
On account of reduced material and personnel expenses, the program to cut costs, which had already been initiated in the late summer of 2008, will lead to savings of about €55 million by the end of the year, of which around €47 million have already been achieved. At the same time, ALTANA has continued to invest in innovation and customer service, in order to maintain and expand its leading role in the markets even and especially in this crisis.
“The worldwide economic crisis has confronted ALTANA with great challenges, which we have successfully met thanks to the joint efforts and commitment of all our employees. Our company has proved that we are successful not only in good times, but also navigated solidly through turbulent waters,” stated Dr. Matthias Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. “Our business model has proved to be robust in the crisis. However, it will take time, also at ALTANA, to return to the sales and earnings levels of 2007 and 2008.”