Adjusted net income was €165 million, representing 7.4% of sales. Arkema recorded strong cash generation for a first quarter, with free cash flow increasing to €73 million (€25 million outflow in first-quarter 2018). Net debt is under tight control at €1,130 million, representing 0.8 times the EBITDA of the last 12 months.
“The Group’s first-quarter financial performance, close to its record-high levels, was in line with the guidance issued at the beginning of the year and demonstrates the Group’s good resilience in a global economic environment that was less favorable compared with the first quarter of 2018,” Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkema’s chairman and CEO, said.
“Several points deserve to be highlighted,” added Le Hénaff. “This solid start to the year was supported by the increased results delivered by Bostik, which is reaping the benefits of its efforts to enhance product mix and raise selling prices in the face of persistently high raw materials costs, as well as its ongoing initiatives to improve its competitiveness. At the same time, the acrylics business confirmed its gradual improvement, and the specialty businesses reported an increase in their overall results, despite a significant decline in volumes in the automotive, electronics and oil & gas markets. Unsurprisingly, earnings for PMMA and fluorogases came in lower than the exceptional levels achieved in the prior year.”