Leather Services unit formed by Clariant

24 February 2010

Effective January 1, 2010, the former Textile, Leather & Paper Chemicals division of Clariant was split into the four stand-alone operating business units which will be known as Leather Services, Textile Chemicals, Paper Specialties and Emulsions.

Compared to the fourth quarter of the previous year (2008), sales in the Textile, Leather & Paper Chemicals Division rose 5% in local currencies and remained stable in Swiss francs. According to a statement released by the company announcing their 2009 results, the Leather business unit continued its upward trend in the fourth quarter, driven by a demand increase from the automotive industry. Year-on-year sales grew in the double-digit range in local currencies and in Swiss francs. At the regional level, the division’s biggest market, Asia, stood out with strong local currency sales growth in all three-business units. While sales in Europe and Latin America remained relatively stable in local currencies, demand in North America continued to weaken as expected.
For Clariant International Ltd as a whole sales fell 14% in 2009 and operating income before exceptional items decreased to CHF270 million down from CHF530 million in 2008. However, following a series cost saving measures which included job losses (down 2,566 to the end of 2008), plant closures, inventory reduction and general streamlining the company was able to reduce debt from CHF1.2 billion in 2008 to CHF545 million last year.
‘In an economic environment that is still challenging, we will continue to focus on our restructuring efforts. The aim remains to achieve sustainable above industry-average profitability by the end of 2010’, commented Clariant ceo, Hariolf Kottmann.
Clariant said in the statement released on February 16, that they do not foresee a sustainable recovery of the global economy in 2010 and expect sales growth in local currencies to remain in the low single digit range.

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