- Q1-Q3: Sales increase by 33.3 percent to Ã¢â??Â¬ 809.9 million
- Adjusted operating earnings up by 58 percent in Q3
- Adjusted EBT at Ã¢â??Â¬ 19.5 million (Q3 2007 Ã¢â??Â¬ 12.3 million)
- Business development compensates devaluation of inventories at year end
Salzbergen, 12 November 2008
In the economically turbulent third quarter of 2008, H&R WASAG generated record sales of Ã¢â??Â¬ 314.6 million (Q3 2007: Ã¢â??Â¬ 202.1 million) and returned a very positive operating result (EBITDA) of Ã¢â??Â¬ 27.8 million (Q3 2007: Ã¢â??Â¬ 17.6 million), adjusted for the Ã¢â??Â¬ 22 million provision for the cartel fine. Beside the lower purchasing prices for feedstocks from August, also effects from the capacity expansion Ã¢â?¬Å?Project 40Ã¢â?¬Â and the continuous optimization of production processes had a positive impact. Ã¢â?¬Å?The negative trend seen in the first months reversed in the third quarter, and this good result supports our business model focussed on sustained and continuous earnings growth,Ã¢â?¬Â explained Gert Wendroth, CEO of H&R WASAG AG.
Provision negatively impacting earnings
In the first nine months sales were up by almost 15 percent to Ã¢â??Â¬ 809.9 million (2007: Ã¢â??Â¬ 607.5 million). Adjusted for the mentioned provision, EBITDA increased to Ã¢â??Â¬ 67.5 million (2007: adjusted for the disposal of Explosives: Ã¢â??Â¬ 63.0 million) and earnings before tax (EBT) reached Ã¢â??Â¬ 47.4 million (2007 excluding explosives: Ã¢â??Â¬ 49.5 million). The provision for the cartel fine issued by the EU Commission reduced 2008 earnings by Ã¢â??Â¬ 22 million. H&R WASAG AG is going to be challenging the reason for and amount of the fine.
Financial crisis results in differing developments in divisions
Positive development was again driven by the positive operating development of the division Chemical Pharmaceutical Raw Materials: with record sales of Ã¢â??Â¬ 771.9 million (2007: Ã¢â??Â¬ 550.3 million; + 40 percent) the division again repeated its operating earnings (EBITDA) of Ã¢â??Â¬ 64.9 million from the previous year (Q1-Q3 2007: Ã¢â??Â¬ 65.0 million) thanks to a strong third quarter. This was mainly driven by lower feedstock prices from August.
The financial crisis has however had a negative impact on the Plastics division. Lower incoming order levels from the automotive industry resulted in operating earnings (EBITDA) of only Ã¢â??Â¬ 0.4 million (Q3 2007: Ã¢â??Â¬ 1.2 million). Based on the first nine months, this amounted to sales of Ã¢â??Â¬ 38.0 million (previous yearÃ¢â?¬â?¢s period: Ã¢â??Â¬ 35.9 million) and EBITDA of Ã¢â??Â¬ 2.5 million compared to Ã¢â??Â¬ 4.1 million in 2007.
Adjusted earnings forecast 2008 remains in the range of Ã¢â??Â¬ 50 to Ã¢â??Â¬ 60 million despite devaluation of inventories
As a result of extreme volatilities in feedstock markets, the Board of H&R WASAG AG plans to change the valuation method for finished and semi-finished goods effective from the year end financial statements 2008. In periods of falling purchasing prices the current valuation, based on moving purchasing costs for input feedstocks during the reporting period, may result in average purchasing prices which are far above the current price level. Therefore the valuation of disposals at average annual prices is to be replaced with a monthly average price. From today's point of view, this would result in a negative inventory valuation effect in the consolidated financial statement at year end, which based on current feedstock prices could reach up to Ã¢â??Â¬ 15 million. Positive business development, including after the third quarter, will most likely be able to compensate this effect. This means that earnings before tax (EBT) adjusted for the provision can be expected in the forecasted region of Ã¢â??Â¬ 50 million to Ã¢â??Â¬ 60 million, assuming further stable economic development. Ã¢â?¬Å?We are committed to achieving a more up-to-date and therefore more transparent valuation for the capital market,Ã¢â?¬Â explained Wendroth.
Detailed information about current developments can be found in the quarterly reports as at September 30, 2008, which will be available on our Internet site under www.hur-wasag.com, for both review and download.
H&R WASAG AG, Investor Relations / Communication, Christian Pokropp
Neuenkirchenerstraße 8, 48499 Salzbergen
Tel.: +49 (0)40-43218-321, Fax: +49 (0)40-43218-390, Mail: Christian.Pokropp(at)hur-wasag.de
H&R WASAG AG:
The company develops and manufactures specialised crude oil-based chemical-pharmaceutical products and produces precision plastic parts. The group companies are well-positioned as market and/or technology leaders in the respective business fields.