The AGM approved the annual report of the company and discharged the corporate bodies of the company for their actions in the business year 2009. It was also agreed that the financial loss Clariant sustained in 2009 be allocated to the free reserves. No dividend or similar payout to shareholders will be granted in 2010.

Clariant’s chairman, Jürg Witmer, highlighted the progress which has been achieved in 2009. ‘In the past year we have made substantial progress in establishing a solid foundation for the company, but we still have a long way to go. Therefore, we must press ahead with our restructuring program. Our intention is to lay the basis for a sustainable return to profitable growth from 2011 onwards. This is not only in the interest of our employees and our customers, but also of our shareholders. Clariant’s future will be only secured when our earnings reflect the actual performance potential of the company and the expectations of the capital markets.’

CEO Hariolf Kottmann stated that Clariant’s achievements in 2009 are good but that fundamentally nothing has changed as the company’s performance still clearly lags behind its peer group. He emphasised that there is no value creating an alternative but to continue the restructuring program in 2010 with its focus on improving cash, and reducing cost and complexity. ‘It is our expectation to have built ourselves a stable platform for profitable growth by the end of the year. The prerequisite for this step is to maximize the performance of Clariant based on our current portfolio and Business Units.’ Clariant created a new Leather Services Business Unit on January 1, 2010.

Hariolf Kottmann said: ‘In a continuously challenging economic climate Clariant expects 2010 sales growth in local currencies in the moderate single-digit range. We are confident the continued restructuring measures will improve the company’s cost position, resulting in a positive impact on the operating result.’ Hariolf Kottmann further stated that 2010 is the second and last year of the restructuring program. The implementation of the program will lead to further headcount reductions.

Prof. Peter Chen, a member of the Board of Directors since 2006, was re-elected for a further three year term at the AGM. Furthermore, shareholders approved amendments to the Articles of Association regarding a necessary adaptation to the new ‘Federal Act Securities held with an Intermediary (BEG)’ as well as the possibility to introduce electronic decision making in AGMs.