MOSCOW (MRC) -- At the Annual Stockholders‘ Meeting of specialty chemicals company Lanxess Chairman of the Board of Management Matthias Zachert looked back on fiscal 2014 and presented the first results of the company’s three-phase realignment program, as per the company's press release.
"In 2014, we made good progress on the way back to success," said Zachert.
The first phase, which focused on improving the competitiveness of the company’s business and administrative structure, has largely been completed. From the end of 2016, Lanxess will benefit from savings of around EUR 150 million annually.
The company has initiated first measures associated with the second phase of the program, targeting the optimization of its production network. With the third phase, Lanxess seeks to improve the competitiveness of its business portfolio. Currently the company is holding talks with potential partners for cooperations in the rubber business.
Despite the difficult business situation, the company improved its operating result in fiscal 2014. While sales declined slightly by 3.5% to around EUR 8 billion, EBITDA pre exceptionals increased by 9.9% to EUR 808 million. Net income improved by EUR 206 million to EUR 47 million.
The Board of Management and the Supervisory Board proposed a dividend of EUR 0.50 per share at the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting. This amounts to a total dividend payout of around EUR 46 million.
Lanxess got off to a good start in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. While sales were stable compared with the previous year at around EUR 2 billion, EBITDA pre exceptionals rose by 11.7 percent to EUR 229 million in the first quarter.
Net income fell by 12.0% year-on-year to EUR 22 million, reflecting exceptional charges for the realignment measures.
The Group anticipates that the favorable developments from the first quarter, especially those involving currency effects and savings from the realignment, will continue over the course of the year. Hence, Lanxess increased its guidance for full year 2015 and expects EBITDA pre exceptionals to come in between EUR 820 million and EUR 860 million.
"In 2015, we will set the course for the future of our company. In 2016, we plan to complete our realignment," Zachert said. "We should then have the ability to return to growth mode, step by step. Our goal is to expand our position in less cyclical businesses."
The Annual Stockholders’ Meeting is also electing new stockholder representatives to the Supervisory Board of Lanxess. Rainer Laufs and Robert J. Koehler will both be leaving the board at the close of this year’s Stockholders’ Meeting. The Supervisory Board proposed Lawrence A. Rosen, member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Post AG, and Dr. Matthias Wolfgruber, chairman of the Management Board of Altana AG, for election as new members of the Supervisory Board.
Additionally, Dr. Friedrich Janssen, Dr. Rolf Stomberg, and Theo H. Walthie are standing for re-election to the Supervisory Board for a term ending with the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting in 2020. Stomberg will be proposed to the new Supervisory Board as a candidate for the chairmanship of the Supervisory Board. One year ago, Claudia Nemat was elected to the Supervisory Board for a term ending with the Annual Stockholders' Meeting in 2019.
As MRC informed previously, in mid-2013, Lanxess opened its first production facility in Russia. In the new plant at the Lipetsk site, Lanxess subsidiary Rhein Chemie manufactures polymer-bound rubber additives for the markets in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), primarily for the automotive and tire industries. A production facility for the bladders used in tire production is to be added in 2016. The overall investment volume in euros amounts to a seven-digit figure and 40 new jobs will be created at the new plant in the medium term.
Lanxess is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,300 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of Lanxess is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.