Quote of Thierry Le Hénaff
« In 2nd quarter, Arkema confirmed the strength of its results in a less favorable economic environment than last year which also shows strong disparities from one geographic region to another. Market conditions in Europe are challenging, in particular in France where growth prospects have deteriorated since the end of last year and where the Group continues to consider ways to improve its productivity. Nevertheless, the Group benefited from its balanced geographic presence worldwide, its growing footprint in North America, and its diversified end-markets and continued to benefit from its positioning in high added value specialty businesses.
The Group actively reinforced its assets as shown by the capacity extension of its acrylic production capacities in North America in the 2nd quarter, and the construction of its Thiochemicals platform in Malaysia. »
Market conditions in the second half of the year should be in the continuity of the first half of the year with a marked contrast by regions and a limited visibility. They should continue to be solid in North America, and challenging but stable in Europe. In Asia, China in particular, growth should remain slower than expected. High Performance Materials should continue to be impacted in the 3rd quarter by the weakness in photovoltaic market and delays in some oil and gas projects. However, those markets should as expected improve by year end.
In this environment, Arkema should achieve in the second half of the year an EBITDA similar to the record level of the 2nd half of 2012. Compared to 2012, the 3rd quarter EBITDA should be lower than the high reference of last year and the 4th quarter stronger. The Group thereby confirms its ability to achieve a strong annual performance in a macro-economic environment that is less favorable than in 2012. The Group, however, will continue to carefully monitor the macro-economic environment developments and will implement the necessary adjustment initiatives if it was to be necessary.
The Group continues to implement its focused growth strategy with several progresses and confirms its ambition for 2016 to achieve €8 billion sales and 16% EBITDA margin while maintaining gearing below 40%.