In a strong second quarter of 2016, EBITDA pre exceptionals rose by 8.5% to €293 million, compared with €270 million a year earlier. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals improved year-on-year from 12.8% to 15.1%. The good overall performance was due particularly to the strong development of the “new” Lanxess segments Advanced Intermediates, Performance Chemicals and High Performance Materials.

The Performance Chemicals segment, which includes the Leather Chemicals business unit, posted a slight year-on-year decline in sales of 1.8%, from €553 million to €543 million. However, EBITDA pre exceptionals increased by 3.6% to €114 million, compared with €110 million a year earlier. Higher volumes, an improved product mix and favorable exchange rates had a positive impact on earnings. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals increased from 19.9% to a strong 21.0%, so far the highest figure in the company’s history.

“The strong operating result derived especially from increased volumes, leaner cost structures and an improved product mix achieved by the “new” Lanxess segments. This shows that our realignment has enabled us to create a powerful and efficient organisation and that we are operating in the right markets with the right products,” said Lanxess Chairman of the Board of Management Matthias Zachert. “We are very optimistic for the second half of the year and expect “new” Lanxess to improve earnings against the prior year. Although the rubber business remains difficult, we are again raising our forecast for the full year.”

Group sales declined by 7.7% in the second quarter of 2016 to €1.94 billion, compared with €2.1 billion in the prior-year quarter. Lower procurement prices for raw materials were passed on to customers. Higher volumes could not compensate for price reductions and the slightly unfavorable currency effect of the U.S. dollar.

Lanxess virtually debt-free

On April 1, 2016, Lanxess received around €1.2 billion from Saudi Aramco for its 50% share in ARLANXEO. This payment substantially reduced Lanxess’ net financial liabilities at the end of the second quarter to just €198 million. In December 2015, the company’s net financial liabilities still stood at around €1.2 billion. In May, Lanxess also added €200 million to its German pension assets. “Our balance sheet is strong and solid,” explained Lanxess CFO Michael Pontzen. “We have thus created an excellent basis for the company’s further development.”