Ã¢â?¬Â¢ Write-downs on inventory in Q4 compensated by operating results
Ã¢â?¬Â¢ Earnings before tax reach Ã¢â??Â¬ 47.4 million adjusted for cartel fine
Ã¢â?¬Â¢ Sales exceed Ã¢â??Â¬ 1 billion for the first time
(Note: All figures mentioned in this press release are preliminary and unaudited)
Salzbergen, Germany, 20 February 2009
In Q4 2008, H&R WASAG AG was able to achieve above average sales, compensating write-down on inventories of Ã¢â??Â¬ 29.6 million, and still return an operating result (EBITDA) of Ã¢â??Â¬ 6.3 million. Driven by extremely volatile raw material prices, H&R WASAG AG decided in autumn to base valuation more closely on current market developments. A further decline in raw material prices until year-end led to higher write-downs than initially anticipated. Ã¢â?¬Å?Adjusted for additional write-downs on inventory, operating results in Q4 came in at a record level and reflected the excellent production and sales effort of the entire organisation,Ã¢â?¬Â explained Gert Wendroth, CEO of H&R WASAG AG. Adjusted for the cartel fine provision, earnings before tax for the full year reached Ã¢â??Â¬ 47.4 million (previous year Ã¢â??Â¬ 59.8 million, excluding proceeds of the Explosives business). Ã¢â?¬Å?We are very satisfied with the full year 2008 results considering the extreme turmoil of crude oil markets,Ã¢â?¬Â added Wendroth. The increase in sales at H&R WASAG AG by 29.7% to Ã¢â??Â¬ 1.035 billion (previous year: Ã¢â??Â¬ 0.798) was mainly driven by higher price levels, pushing the company above the one billion threshold for the first time.
Different business development at divisions
Growth achieved in 2008 was mainly driven by the division Chemical/Pharmaceutical Raw Materials, which saw sales increase by 35.4 percent to Ã¢â??Â¬ 988 million (2007: Ã¢â??Â¬ 729 million). Operating earnings (EBITDA) fell from Ã¢â??Â¬ 81.1 million in 2007 to Ã¢â??Â¬ 50.1 million as a result of the provision for the cartel fine amounting to Ã¢â??Â¬ 22 million and write-downs on inventory.
Despite declining demand from the automotive industry sales in the Plastics division reached Ã¢â??Â¬ 47.6 million, almost unchanged against the previous year (Ã¢â??Â¬ 47.3 million). In the financial year 2008, EBITDA did however decline to Ã¢â??Â¬ 2.1 million (previous year: Ã¢â??Â¬ 3.9 million) in the division on the back of developments in the automotive sector. As a counter-measure and in addition to sustained cost-cutting measures, the dependency on the automotive sector is to be reduced and access to new business fields pushed ahead.
Difficult conditions expected for the financial year 2009
The global economic crisis has now reached a considerable extent in all regions and industries. Also H&R WASAG AG is therefore expecting a more difficult environment in the 2009 financial year, which could have a negative impact on business after strong growth seen in past years. The broadly-based product range and the fact that H&R WASAG supplies more than 100 sectors will have a stabilising effect in this more difficult environment. Cost-cutting and efficiency boosting measures are also being initiated.
Ã¢â?¬Å?High quality standards, customer focus, and our commitment to continuing to develop innovative products will not be influenced by the measures being introduced,Ã¢â?¬Â explains Andreas Keil, CFO of H&R WASAG AG. Ã¢â?¬Å?These characteristics, as well as our clear focus on niche markets in the Chemical Pharmaceutical Raw Materials business, will contribute to further enhancing our competitive position, even in a difficult environment,Ã¢â?¬Â emphasizes COO Niels H. Hansen.
March 30, 2009
Full Year 2008 Results
Annual Press and AnalystÃ?Â´ Conference
May 14, 2009
Q1 Interim Report 2009
May 28, 2009
Annual Shareholder Meeting in Hamburg
August 14, 2009
Q2 Interim Report 2009
November 12, 2009
Q3 Interim Report 2009
H&R WASAG AG, Investor Relations / Communications, Christian Pokropp
Am Sandtorkai 64, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: +49 - (0) 40-43218-321, Fax: +49 Ã¢â?¬â?? (0) 40-43218-390, Mail: Christian.Pokropp(at)hur-wasag.de
Additional information regarding H&R WASAG AG:
H&R WASAG AG is an SDAX-listed specialty chemicals company engaged in the development and manufacture of crude oil-based chemical-pharmaceutical specialty products, and in the production of precision plastic components.