Key financial data: January 1—March 31, 2018 / First quarter of 2018
• Adjusted EBITDA rises 14 percent to €679 million
• Sales increase 1 percent to €3.68 billion
• Full-year forecast confirmed
Essen. Evonik made a good start to the year. Adjusted EBITDA increased to €679 million in the first quarter, a significant rise of 14 percent year-on-year. All three chemicals segments contributed to the gain in earnings.
“We are consistently implementing our new strategy,” said Christian Kullmann, Chairman of the Executive Board. “With our focus on innovation and our performance-oriented corporate culture, we are consistently striving for profitable growth. Our goal is a balanced portfolio focused on specialty chemicals.”
Sales grew 1 percent to €3.68 billion in the first quarter, driven mainly by slightly higher sales volumes as well as increased selling prices. Currency effects, especially the weaker U.S. dollar, had a counter effect.
The adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 18.5 percent (prior-year quarter: 16.4 percent). Adjusted net income increased to €333 million and adjusted earnings per share rose to €0.71. Free cash flow increased to €84 million (prior-year quarter: €57 million) as a result of lower outflows for capital expenditures.
Outlook confirmed in full
Despite an increasingly negative currency effect, Evonik is reiterating its forecast and expects to grow both sales and operating earnings this year. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to increase to between €2.4 billion and €2.6 billion (2017: €2.36 billion). Thanks to its strong market positions and strategic focus on its four growth engines—Specialty Additives, Animal Nutrition, Smart Materials, and Health & Care—Evonik anticipates that demand will remain high.
Resource Efficiency: Sales rose 3 percent to €1.4 billion in the first quarter. The consolidation of the silica business acquired from J. M. Huber in September last year and higher selling prices contributed to this rise. There was strong demand for coating additives, especially in Asia-Pacific, and for crosslinkers in Europe. Adjusted EBITDA rose 9 percent to €325 million in the Resource Efficiency segment.
Nutrition & Care: In the first quarter of 2018, sales were level with the prior-year quarter at €1.12 billion. Market conditions for essential amino acids for animal nutrition were robust in the reporting period. While sales volumes were slightly higher, overall selling prices were stable compared with the prior-year period. A substantial increase in sales was registered by personal-care products, which benefited from a considerable rise in sales volumes and an improvement in prices. The health-care business and polyurethane-foam additives continued to develop well with good demand. Adjusted EBITDA rose 12 percent to €209 million in the Nutrition & Care segment.
Performance Materials: Sales grew 4 percent to €995 million in the first quarter. This was due to higher selling prices, while negative currency effects had a counter effect. The methacrylates business continued to perform positively and reported a considerable rise in sales. Demand remained pleasing, especially from the coatings and automotive sectors, while market supply was still tight. The adjusted EBITDA of the Performance Materials segment improved 14 percent to €179 million.
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The focus on more specialty businesses, customer-orientated innovative prowess and a trustful and performance-oriented corporate culture form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. They are the lever for profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company. Evonik benefits specifically from its customer proximity and leading market positions. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 36,000 employees. In fiscal 2017, the enterprise generated sales of €14.4 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.36 billion.
Evonik’s international activities are organized into six regions. The Asia Pacific North region is headquartered in Shanghai. Sales in Asia Pacific North reached 2,158 million euros in 2017. Evonik regards China as one of the driving forces of the global economy and we consequently endeavor to grow our business here. The company now employs about 3,000 employees and has in total of 10 production sites in China.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.