46483 Wesel, Germany
Tel: +49 281 670-8
Fax: +49 281 670-10999
Sales: $370 million in printing ink and graphic arts coatings sales
(Ink World estimate); €2.249 billion overall.
Major Products: Metallic inks and pigments; UV and water-based inks and coatings.
Key Personnel: Martin Babilas, CEO; Stefan Genten, member of the Management Board; Dr. Christoph Schlünken, member of the Management Board, president Division BYK (ad interim), chairman of the Management Board BYK-Chemie GmbH (ad interim); Dr. Wolfgang Schütt, president Division ECKART, chairman of the Management Board ECKART GmbH; Dr. Guido Forstbach, president Division ELANTAS, chairman of the Management Board ELANTAS GmbH; Thorsten Kröller, president Division ACTEGA, chairman of the Management Board ACTEGA GmbH.
Number of Employees: 6,476 as of Dec. 31, 2019.
Comments: ALTANA held its ground in a challenging market environment during 2019, and at the same time set the course for further growth.
Sales amounted to €2,249 million, nearly 3% below the level of the previous year, which was still characterized by a strong first half in economic terms. Andrea Neumann, head of corporate communications at ALTANA, noted that the main reasons for this were the continuing sluggish demand in key industrial sectors, especially the automotive industry, and the general economic slowdown, especially in China.
Adjusted for acquisition and exchange-rate effects, sales decreased by 4%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell by 3% to €416 million. At 18.5%, the EBITDA margin was roughly at the previous year’s level despite further increases in expenditure, particularly for research and development and digitization, and thus within the long-term target range of 18 to 20%.
“We invested heavily in promising growth projects in order to remain on course for sustained success. Even in a challenging market environment, we succeeded in achieving our long-term profitability targets,” said Martin Babilas, CEO of ALTANA AG. “We therefore once again demonstrated our highly innovative and financial strength.”
The effect pigment specialist ECKART achieved sales of €356 million, representing a 7% decrease. The discontinuation of trading with white pigments in China contributed to this development.
ACTEGA continued to grow in the 2019 fiscal year. Due to the persistently strong demand for coating and packaging solutions from consumer-related customer industries, the division increased its sales by 1% to
Neumann noted that in planning for the 2020 fiscal year, ALTANA had assumed there would be slightly stronger global economic growth in the second half of the year.
“In this environment, the Group had expected operating sales growth in the low single-digit percentage range and further growth through the acquisitions already completed. In such a scenario, the EBITDA margin would have been in the lower third of the long-term target range of 18% to 20%,” Neumann explained.
“However, the further course of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on demand, production and supply processes cannot be assessed at present,” she added. “Although ALTANA achieved slight sales and earnings growth in the first months of the current year, the coronavirus pandemic will have a significant impact on the sales development and earnings situation in the coming months.”
In 2019, ALTANA pushed ahead with the expansion of its sites and production capacities in all regions of the world. In April, the Group opened a new integrated BYK site in Shanghai. In June, a new ACTEGA innovation center began operations in Grevenbroich, Germany, and in December, ACTEGA opened a new integrated site in the Brazilian city of Araçariguama.
ALTANA is currently significantly expanding BYK’s US site in Gonzales and ACTEGA’s site in Bremen. Expansion projects are also underway in Deventer in the Netherlands and Tongling in China. Another highlight was ACTEGA Metal Print, ALTANA’s internal startup, which is about to launch a technology that achieves decorative metallic effects with considerably less material, costs, and production time than the processes that have been commonly used thus far.