Wesel, May 6, 2010

ALTANA has started dynamically into the year 2010

The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA has achieved a considerable increase in sales and earnings in the first quarter of the current business year compared to the prior-year period. With regard to prior year comparisons, however, it has to be taken into account that the corresponding first quarter of 2009 was the period that was affected the strongest by the economic crisis, making it the weakest quarter of the past business year. Against this backdrop, sales increased by 44%, from €251.8 million to €361.5 million. The growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was even more pronounced: EBITDA rose from €21.9 million to €79.1 million. The EBITDA margin therefore improved to 21.9% (prior year: 8.7%). Earnings before taxes (EBT) also increased significantly, up from €0.4 million to €56.9 million.

Development by divisions

Sales in the BYK Additives & Instruments division grew by 63% from €79.0 million in the prior-year to €129.0 million in the period under review. The ECKART Effect Pigments division achieved sales of €85.9 million (prior year: €57.6 million), corresponding to an increase of 49%. With sales up from €64.5 million to

€85.4 million, the ELANTAS Electrical Insulation division achieved an increase of 32%. Sales in the ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants division were up by 21%, from €50.7 million in the first quarter of 2009 to €61.2 million in the first quarter of 2010.

Efficiency enhancement and cost management form the basis for the upswing

“The first quarter of 2010 was very successful for ALTANA. With favorable raw materials pricing, we have benefited from the clearly improving economic situation as well as our measures to enhance efficiency, which have proven effective both during the crisis and in the present upswing,“ stated Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. One would have to wait and see, however, whether the economic revival was going to remain as pronounced and sustained as it was at present. “There undoubtedly is a risk that the economic upswing will lose momentum during the course of the year. Nonetheless, it is clear that ALTANA is back on its long-term, profitable growth path. It is now paying off that, even in the crisis, we have not changed our strong focus on research and development as well as customer service. Our strengths in this area form the basis for our further positive development,“ said Wolfgruber.


Although the business performance has shown a strongly positive upward trend over the past quarters, it is not possible to forecast the development of demand for the upcoming months with a sufficient degree of certainty. The general economic conditions for ALTANA and for those end and customer markets which are relevant for the Group, as well as the further development of raw materials pricing remain highly uncertain. On the basis of our business performance in the first quarter of 2010 and taking into account the present order situation, we expect to see an overall increase in sales and earnings for the current business year compared to 2009. 

Key Figures Q1 2010


January to March 2010

January to March 2009


(in € million)



in %





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




Operating income (EBIT)




Earnings before taxes (EBT)




Net income (EAT)




Earnings per share (EPS) in €




Research and development expenses




Capital expenditure on intangible assets and property, plant and equipment




Headcount (March 31)





A telephone press conference will take place today, May 6, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. (local time, CEST). More information on the relevant audio webcast, this press release and the interim financial report is available at www.altana.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, i.e. current estimates or expectations of future events or future results. These statements are based on beliefs of ALTANA as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to ALTANA. 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 84% 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 35 production facilities and 47 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the group 4,800 people work to ensure the success of ALTANA worldwide. In 2009 ALTANA achieved sales of about 1.2 billion euros. Its impressive earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most successful and innovative chemical groups worldwide.