Wesel, November 5, 2007

ALTANA continues its growth course

  • Sales: plus 7 percent
  • Earnings (EBITDA): plus 18 percent
  • Outlook revised and increased

The specialty chemicals company ALTANA AG substantially increased sales and earnings in the first nine months of 2007 compared to the prior year. In the period from January until September, sales rose by 7% from €985.3 million to €1,053.8 million. Adjusted for negative exchange rate as well as minor positive acquisition effects, operating growth was 9%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 18% from €163.5 million to €192.1 million in the first nine months of 2007. All divisions contributed to the growth in earnings with significant growth rates. The EBITDA margin was 18.2%, despite additional costs due to the two-tier holding structure in Wesel and Bad Homburg, which was maintained until the middle of the year. Income before taxes (EBT) totaled €183.9 million (prior year: €102.5 million), comprising the extraordinary interest income in the amount of €55.3 million from the investment of the purchase price for ALTANA Pharma realized until the distribution of the dividend in May 2007.

Strong performance in all divisions
All four divisions contributed to the positive growth in sales and earnings.
The BYK Additives & Instruments division posted an increase of 7% on the prior-year’s period, with sales rising from €316.8 million to €340.4 million. EBITDA also increased by 7%, from €95.8 million to €102.4 million.
Sales of ECKART Effect Pigments climbed from €254.6 million to €274.9 million, corresponding to an increase of 8%. EBITDA improved significantly by 25%, climbing from €53.0 million to €66.1 million.
ELANTAS Electrical Insulation’s sales went up from €245.7 million in the prior-year’s period to €267.5 million; this translates into an increase of 9%. EBITDA was up from €33.7 million to €40.3 million, an increase of 20%.
The ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants division achieved an increase of about 2%, with sales growing from €168.2 million to €171.0 million. At 11%, EBITDA grew significantly stronger from €18.0 million to €20.0 million.
“Our very positive business development has continued in the third quarter of 2007”, stated Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. “On this basis we expect a very good business year 2007 for ALTANA and increase our outlook.”

Positive outlook for the business year 2007

For the business year 2007, ALTANA expects overall significant growth in sales and earnings. With regard to exchange rate expectations, our outlook is still based on a presumed exchange rate at a level of U.S. Dollar 1.35 per Euro on an annual average. Furthermore, our forecast for the current business year takes into consideration the impact of the acquisition of the worldwide effect pigments business of the British company Wolstenholme, which was completed effective as of August 31, 2007.

On this basis, we have revised our previously given outlook and make an upward adjustment to our forecast as follows: We expect a higher single-digit growth in sales to a level of €1.37 to €1.40 billion and a clear double-digit growth in EBITDA to a level between €235 and €245 million. Income before taxes (EBT) is positively influenced by the extraordinary interest income of €55.3 million from the investment of the proceeds from the sale of ALTANA Pharma until the beginning of May 2007.

Key Figures January to September 2007 


January to September 2007

January to September 20061







in € million

in € million

in %








+ 7%





Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)



+ 18%





Operating income (EBIT)



+ 22%





Income before taxes (EBT)



+ 79%





Net income (EAT)1



+ 81%





Earnings per share (EPS)1 in €








Research and development expenses



+ 2%





Capital expenditure on intangible assets and property, plant and equipment



- 1%





Headcount (September 30)



+ 3%

1 Figures relate to the continuing operations.



A conference call for analysts will take place today, November 5, 2007, at 3:00 p.m. (local time, CET). More information on the relevant audio webcast, this press release and the interim financial report is available here: https://www.altana.com/index.php?page=562.  
This press release contains forward-looking statements, i.e. current estimates or expectations of future events or future results. The forward-looking statements appearing in this press release include sales and earnings projections for the ALTANA Group. These statements are based on beliefs of ALTANA’s management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to ALTANA. Many factors that ALTANA is unable to predict with accuracy could cause ALTANA’s actual results, including its financial position, sales, and earnings to be materially different from those that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include ALTANA‘s ability to develop new and innovative chemical products, ALTANA‘s ability to maintain close ties with its customers, the business cycles experienced by ALTANA‘s customers, and the prices of raw materials used in ALTANA’s business.
Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. ALTANA does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update forward-looking statements to reflect facts, circumstances or events that have occurred or changed after such statements have been made.

ALTANA develops and produces high-quality innovative products in the specialty chemicals business. The ALTANA Group, with headquarters in Wesel/Germany, is a genuine “global player” with 83% of its sales generated by international activities. The ALTANA Group has four divisions: BYK Additives & Instruments, ECKART Effect Pigments, ELANTAS Electrical Insulation, and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants. All of these divisions occupy a leading position in their target markets with respect to quality, product solution expertise, innovation and service.
ALTANA offers innovative, environmentally compatible solutions with the matching specialty products for coating manufactures, paint and plastic processors, the printing and cosmetic industries, and the electrical and electronic industry. The product range includes additives, special coatings and adhesives, effect pigments, sealants and compounds, impregnating resins & varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments.
At present, the ALTANA Group has 31 production facilities and 45 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the group 4,600 people work to ensure the success of ALTANA worldwide. In 2006 ALTANA achieved sales of about 1.3 billion euros. Its impressive earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most successful and innovative chemical groups worldwide.