Is starting the new fiscal year 2021 with confidence, Lanxess: the specialty chemicals company expects that many of its customer industries will recover and therefore anticipates Ebitda pre exceptionals of between 900 million euro and 1 billion euro for the full year.
Lanxess proved robust in fiscal year 2020, which was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. The specialty chemicals company achieved Ebitda pre exceptionals of 862 million euros, only 15.4% lower than the previous year’s figure of 1.019 billioneuros. Earnings are therefore at the top end of the guided range of between 820 million euros and 880 millioneuros. On January 26, the Group released preliminary figures for the strong fourth quarter, after many businesses had developed better than expected. The Ebitda margin pre exceptionals reached an encouraging 14.1%, against 15.0% a year ago.
At 6.104 billion euros, Lanxess’ Group sales in 2020 decreased by 10.3% from the previous year’s figure of 6.802 billioneuros. Net income from continuing operations increased sharply to 908 million euros after 240 million euros in the previous year. This was attributable to proceeds from the sale of its stake in chemical park operator Currenta, which Lanxess concluded at the end of April. Net financial liabilities decreased from 1.742 billion euros at the end of 2019 to 1.012 billion euros as of December 31, 2020.
Sales and earnings performance in the Advanced Intermediates segment was influenced by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 as a whole. Weak demand and lower prices had a negative effect on the Advanced Industrial Intermediates business unit in particular. Sales fell by 11.2% from 2.251 billion euros to 1.999 billion euros. At 336 million, Ebitda pre exceptionals was 12.3% lower than the previous year’s figure of 383 million euros. The Ebitda margin pre exceptionals was almost stable at 16.8%, against 17.0% in the previous year.
In the Specialty Additives segment, sales volumes - especially in the automotive and aviation industries - likewise decreased significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic. Exchange rates also had a negative effect on sales and earnings. At 1.728 billion euros, sales were down 12.1% on the previous year’s figure of 1.965 billion euros, partly due to slightly lower selling prices. Ebitda pre exceptionals fell by 19.5% from 353 million euros to 284 million euros. The Ebitda margin pre exceptionals for fiscal year 2020 came in at 16.4%, against 18.0% in the previous year.
In the Engineering Materials segment, sales and earnings were hit by weak demand from the automotive industry in the first half of the year. Sales declined by 17.9% from 1.450 billion euros to 1.190 billion euros, partly due to lower selling prices and negative exchange rate effects. Ebitda pre exceptionals fell by 36.6% from 238 million euros to 151 million euros. In addition to the weak demand, earnings were also reduced by a significant, planned maintenance shutdown and difficulties with the subsequent resumption of production in Belgium. The Ebitda margin pre exceptionals of 12.7% was below the figure of 16.4% posted in the previous year.