“2017 was a good year for Evonik,” said Christian Kullmann, chairman of the Executive Board. “We made progress in implementing our strategy and we will continue to consistently drive it forward in 2018.”
At the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 23, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board will be proposing a dividend of €1.15 per share. Based on the closing share price at year-end 2017 that gives a dividend yield of 3.7%, positioning Evonik among the top chemical companies.
“We fully delivered on everything we announced,” CFO Ute Wolf said. “We are also remaining true to our reliable dividend policy.”
The increase in sales in 2017 was driven by organic growth and by consolidation of the specialty additives business acquired from Air Products and the Huber silica business.
Evonik aims to grow sales and operating earnings in 2018 and expects adjusted EBITDA to be between €2.4 billion and €2.6 billion. Evonik had a good start to the year.
Systematic implementation of the company’s strategy includes active portfolio management and sharpening the focus on specialty chemicals. The Executive Board is therefore examining all options for the future development of the methacrylates businesses (MMA and PMMA). These options include possible partnerships or a complete exit.
“Our MMA and PMMA businesses have leading competitive positions and they are profitable and attractive,” said Kullmann. “We can therefore explore the options without time pressure and decide on the best solution.”
In terms of segments, Resource Efficiency developed successfully, benefiting from higher volumes and selling prices as well as the integration of the acquired businesses. Positive effects came, in particular, from strong demand from the tire industry for silica, the pleasing development of business with high-performance polymers (polyamide 12) for the automotive industry, and demand for crosslinkers for environment-friendly coatings and composites.
Earnings at the Performance Materials segment were significantly higher than in the previous year. Continuing good demand from the coatings and automotive industries came at the same time as tight market supply, especially for methacrylates. Successful implementation of measures to improve efficiency contributed to the good performance in the fiscal year.