46483 Wesel, Germany
Tel: +49 281 670-8
Fax: +49 281 670-10999
Sales: $330 million in printing ink and graphic arts coatings sales (Ink World estimate); $2.69 billion (€2.247 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; Dr. Stephan Glander, president Division BYK, chairman of the Management Board BYK-Chemie GmbH; 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; Dr. Roland Peter, president Division ACTEGA, chairman of the Management Board ACTEGA GmbH.
Number of Employees: 6,186
Comments: With more than €2.2 billion ($2.69 billion) in sales last year, the ALTANA Group is a global leader in specialty chemicals. ALTANA features four divisions: BYK, ECKART, ELANTAS and ACTEGA. Within the ink and graphic arts coatings segments, ECKART and ACTEGA are leaders in their respective fields.
ALTANA had an excellent year in 2017, with sales growing 8%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was up by 4% to €470 million, although EBITDA margin in 2017 declined somewhat to 20.9% from 21.8% in 2016 due to higher raw material costs.
In 2017, ALTANA achieved its highest sales growth in Asia, at 12%. China, the largest single market in the region and the company’s second most important sales region, expanded sales by 19% (nominal terms). This development was driven primarily by a strong increase in the need for sustainable product formulation solutions.
“The 2017 fiscal year was a further milestone in our growth history. Thanks to our customer proximity and innovative strength, as well as the acquisition of companies with innovative products and technologies, we were able to improve our sales and earnings once again,” said ALTANA AG CEO Martin Babilas. “At the same time, we paved the way for future success.”
For 2018, ALTANA expects further momentum in the global economy and thus further sales growth. The specialty chemicals company anticipates its sales to increase by 2% to 5% in operating terms, and the acquisitions made in the past fiscal year should provide additional sales impetus. Against the background of rising prices of raw materials, the EBITDA margin should decrease slightly toward the strategic range of 18% to 20%.
In the graphic arts market, ECKART’s sales rose 6% to €385 million, while ACTEGA’s sales were €343 million, down 3% primarily due to the sale of the ACTEGA Colorchemie group to Siegwerk in 2016.
Whereas in the UV and water-based inks and coatings segments ALTANA has to consider a more or less restrained development, the metallic inks and pigments segments are characterized by attractive growth.
ALTANA reported numerous highlight in 2017. The company continued to grow, improving sales and earnings once again. The additives and instruments specialist BYK exceeded the billion euro mark for the first time and sales increased by 13% to €1,030 million. ALTANA strengthened its position through successful acquisitions and the integration of high innovative companies like PolyAd Services, the metallography technology of Israeli Landa Group and the purchase of a technology portfolio for labels and packaging in the US.
Higher raw material costs were responsible for the slightly lower EBITDA this year, and it is likely that this trend will continue.
“Further raises in raw material prices and somewhat difficult shortages in the availability will be a challenge for the specialty chemicals industry in 2018,” an ALTANA spokesperson stated. “Raising raw material prices should continue to dampen the development of the EBITDA margin slightly. Overall, sales and earnings developments can also be influenced by hard-to-predict exchange rate changes.”
Sustainability is an important issue for ALTANA as the company consistently gears its activities to sustained profitable growth.
ALTANA’s understanding of sustainability as a triad of economy, ecology, and corporate social responsibility is also reflected in the company’s mission, which reads as follows: “We provide innovative solutions based on integrated chemical, formulation and application expertise that make products of daily life better and more sustainable. Our solutions open up growth or savings potential for our customers and can change entire markets. As a result, we create value for our customers, employees, shareholder, and society as a whole.”