Global specialty chemicals suppliers Cognis have reported net external sales of €1,715 million for the six months to June 30, 2006, a 7% increase compared with the same period in 2005. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before net financial result, income taxes, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items) also grew by 7% to €214 million, and the company’s overall profit margin was 12.5%. Furthermore, the company have announced that the process of reviewing the strategic options for Cognis has now been completed: The shareholders decided to continue their investment for the next couple of years.

The Strategic Business Units (SBUs) Care Chemicals, Nutrition & Health, Functional Products, and Process Chemicals all posted sales that exceeded the 2005 figures, while Oleochemicals’ sales remained stable. All regions contributed to this positive development. The growth in the company’s Adjusted EBITDA reflects this improvement in sales, and despite increased raw material and energy costs, the company have been able to reduce their overall costs by further improving operational efficiency. Adjusted for the effects of currency fluctuations, sales increased by 4.5% and Adjusted EBITDA by 5.5%. Comments Antonio Trius, CEO of Cognis: ‘We are satisfied with the business’ development over the first six months. Our innovative product offering and branded ingredients have made a particular contribution to achieving this result.’

Sales of Process Chemicals totaled €130 million, up 5.3%. This sector benefited particularly from strong demand in the Asia-Pacific region, where Cognis have seen double-digit sales growth in both their textile technology and leather technology businesses.