Clariant set to beat Q3 FY 03 sales forecast

November 9, 2004 by  

Clariant expects to beat ’03 operating results this year, helped by cost cuts and rising demand in most of its markets, the specialty chemicals firm said on Tuesday, as it reported solid growth in third-quarter sales.

The maker of pigments used to colour everything from jeans to cars said it expected ’04 continuing sales and operating income — excluding restructuring costs — above last year’s levels, underlining the effects of a sector recovery and its restructuring programme.

In the third quarter alone, operating profit came in at a lower-than-expected 130m Swiss francs ($109m) from a restated 135m a year ago, even though analysts said the core units appeared to be on track.

Adjusting for divestments in ’03, operating profit before exceptional items and the amortisation of goodwill rose from a like-for-like 121m francs, Clariant said.

“The results are so-so, but they are just what one can expect from Clariant in its turnaround,” said Sal. Oppenheim analyst Roland Leutenegger. “But the trend is right and that is what’s important.”

Clariant’s third-quarter sales inched up to 2.131bn from a reported 2.129bn in the same year-ago quarter as markets in the Americas and Asia performed strongly and amid visible signs of recovery in Europe.

Like-for-like sales in the year-ago quarter were 2.041bn.

Clariant had been expected to report EBIT before exceptionals of 145m francs on sales of 2.07bn, according to a Reuters poll of 11 analysts.

The debt-laden firm, which has struggled to digest the acquisition of British fine chemicals maker BTP in ’00, has been scrambling to fix its balance sheet over recent years


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