Accelerate toward specialty chemicals
Arkema is holding world leading positions on 90% of its business portfolio. Arkema's strategy is based on innovation, an increased presence in the emerging markets and targeted acquisitions.
These three strategic priorities are based on four fundamental pillars in the Group's management:
- Business excellence;
- Operational excellence in industrial processes;
- CSR policy for responsible growth;
- Digital transformation of the Group.
The Group's transformation since its IPO in 2006 has enabled to reposition its activities towards specialty chemicals – which now accounts for 70% of its portfolio – and to balance its geographical presence.
This transformation has included an ambitious acquisition program: acquisitions by Arkema have totaled about €4 billion and divestments €2.2 billion.
Arkema is aiming to become one of the global leaders in chemical specialties and advanced materials.
The Group has fixed three deadlines for achieving specific objectives:
- In 2017, achieve between €1,310 million and €1,350 million EBITDA;
- In 2020, achieve revenues of €10 billion and an EBITDA margin close to 17%, with a balanced three-way distribution by region (Europe, North America and Asia);
- In 2023, achieve a REBIT margin (margin after depreciations and amortizations) between 11,5 and 12,5% and a free cash conversion EBITDA of 35%.
To achieve these financial targets for 2023, Arkema will rely on three new investments in Asia announced in 2017, its innovation efforts to serve major societal challenges and a targeted acquisitions strategy.
Over the coming years, the Group will pursue its development and acquisitions focusing on specialties, which should represent more than 80% of the Group’s sales by 2023.
Arkema aims in particular to invest significantly in adhesives market and advanced materials segment (Technical Polymers and Performance Additives) that offers broad development and innovation opportunities in material lightweighting, bio-based polymers and design of consumer goods. Its ambition is to achieve 1/4 of its turnover in Advanced Materials and 1/3 in Advanced Materials.
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70% of these activities correspond to specialty chemicals in 2018.
The aim is to have more than 80% of specialty chemicals in 2023.
Expansion in higher growth regions
The Arkema group plans to generate 1/3 of its revenue by 2020 in higher growth regions, mainly in Asia.
Solid positions in Asia
The last 13 years have seen, Asia Arkema's share of revenue rise from 13% in 2006 to 31% in 2018.
In China, the Group established its largest industrial platform in the world in Changshu (north of Shanghai), on which it has invested 500 million euros since 2006.
This platform includes:
- 7 production units (organic peroxides, specialty polyamides, fluorogases HCFC-22 and HFC-125, PVDF fluoropolymers, and rheology additives)
- A R&D center (opened in October 2013)
In 2012, Arkema bolstered its position in polyamides by the acquisition of two Chinese companies: Casda, the world leader in sebacic acid derived from castor oil, and Hipro Polymers, which produces polyamides 10 from sebacic acid.
In October 2014, Arkema and Jurong Chemical, China’s leader in acrylic acid, finalized the creation of Sunke, a joint venture in which Arkema has a majority interest, comprising the assets of Jurong’s acrylic acid production site in Taixing in China.This operation enables the Group to accelerate the development of its Coating Solutions segment in Asia.
In July 2017, Arkema announced three investments in Asia that reinforce its strategy of expansion in this zone:
Arkema set to conquer Asia’s thiochemicals markets
Arkema chose Kerteh, Malaysia, to establish its new thiochemicals platform in Asia. This site, started successfully in early 2015, is home to the world’s very first bio-methionine plant, built in partnership with Korean company CJ CheilJedang.
This industrial complex came on stream in January 2015, and produces the sulfur amino acid for the manufacture of bio-methionine that is key to the animal feed needed to meet the strong demand in this market in Asia. The site also comprises the production of DMDS for the petrochemicals and refining markets.
With overall investments of some €200 million, this is the Group's biggest industrial project since 2006.
Arkema announced a project to double its methyl mercaptan (raw material of sulfur- amino acid and DMDS) production capacity to support the strong growth of the animal feed, petrochemical and refining markets in Asia. This project is expected to be finalized in 2020.
The construction and the expansion of this platform in Asia is fully consistent with the Group's strategy: to consolidate its product lines with strong growth prospects and establish a worldwide presence through industrial bases on all three continents.
Polyamide 11: a massive investment!
Eager to sustain its customers' strong growth, in particular in automotive, 3D printing, and in consumer goods markets such as sports and electronics, Arkema announced in June 2017 an investment plan of some 300 million euros over five years in the biosourced polyamide 11 chain.
This major investment – the most important – will enable the Group to increase by 50% its polyamide 11 global production capacities. The new facility, which will produce both the amino 11 monomer and Rilsan® PA11 polymer, is expected to start at the end of 2021.
Innovation at the heart of the change
Arkema's growth is based on a constant and unrelenting innovation process to develop new product lines in the field of specialty chemicals.
Two-third of the innovation efforts of the Group focus on sustainable development and target six major research vectors for the future:
- Bio-based products
- New energies
- Water management
- Electronics solutions
- Lightweight materials and design
- Home efficiency and insulation
For example, in the field of fluoropolymers, 6% of total annual revenue is allocated to the development of new applications, especially in the areas of photovoltaics, lithium-ion batteries and water filtration.
As shown by its research programs dedicated to PEKK, composites or piezoeclectric polymers – all high performance materials – Arkema is supporting and anticipating the needs of its markets thanks to an imaginative and collaborative approach: the Group has established many industrial partnerships and collaborations with public laboratories or univeristies.
Arkema may also have to acquire start-up or leading-edge technologies to accelerate development phases of promising products in line with the R&D Group's strategy.
Arkema in the Top 100 Global Innovators
In 2017 and for the seventh straight year, Arkema was included in the Top 100 Global Innovators ranking — compiled by Clarivate Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters.
"Innovation has been part of Arkema’s DNA since its creation. To be listed among the Top 100 Global Innovators for the 7th consecutive year is a tribute to the merits of our strategic guidelines and unique positioning through the development of our portfolio of advanced materials and adhesives. It is also a source of great pride for Arkema and a tremendous reward for our teams", said Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkema Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Arkema has been pursuing a particularly ambitious bolt-on acquisitions program since 2007. These acquisitions have enabled the Group to reposition itself firmly in high performance materials, rebalance its global presence, and rank among world leaders in its main product lines.
With the investment in the JV Sunke (in partnership with Jurong Chemical, leader of acrylic acid in China) in 2014, the acquisitions of Bostik in 2015, Den Braven in 2016 and CMP in 2017, the Group has achieved an ambitious acquisition program of companies with high potential.
In 10 years, Arkema has acquired revenues of nearly 4 billion euros.
Over the coming years, Arkema will pursue its growth strategy based on bolt-on acquisitions by strongly focusing on specialties, which should represent more than 80% of its sales by 2023.
Arkema aims in particular to participate in the consolidation of the attractive, still-fragmented adhesives market, and will invest significantly in advanced materials (Technical Polymers and Performance Additives).