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In the first quarter of 2013, the low level of demand continued in most of LANXESS’s businesses contrary to the typical seasonality. In a persistently weak economic environment and with customer order levels continuing to be volatile, we project only a slight improvement in business in the second quarter. Accordingly, we expect that second-quarter EBITDA pre exceptionals will not exceed €220 million.

The rest of the year is likely to remain challenging due to the low level of global economic momentum. Based on the expected weak development of the first six months, we currently anticipate an improvement in demand in the second half of the year.

With respect to the emerging markets, we continue to expect the most rapid growth in our customer industries, especially automotive, to take place in Asia, particularly China. We anticipate that the U.S. economy will see some growth in the course of the year from which our customers in the automotive sector will also benefit. We expect demand in the European tire and automotive industries to remain at a low level. Demand for agrochemicals is likely to stay solid for the remainder of the year. It nevertheless remains difficult to gauge the future development of the economy as a whole.

We took early action in 2012 with our flexible asset management and rigorous cost discipline to cushion the impact of a potential drop in demand. We are continuing with this action in the current year and adding further measures aimed at addressing the persistent weakness in demand. These relate to the Performance Chemicals segment and are designed to improve competitiveness at our international sites. We assume that raw material and energy prices will move sideways for the rest of the year, with ongoing volatility. Passing along raw material and energy price fluctuations to the market will remain a challenge in the current environment. As before, we will endeavor to deliver an optimal response with a view to our earnings generation and strategic positioning.

Based on business development so far and our second-quarter earnings forecast, we predict an improvement in demand in the second half of the year. We expect EBITDA pre exceptionals for the full year 2013 to come in below €1 billion.

We will continue to pursue our selective growth strategy in the current year. However, in view of the difficult market environment, we have adjusted our planned cash outflows for capital expenditures. We currently expect these to total around €600 million. We are committed to maintaining LANXESS’s strategic alignment in the future. With our product portfolio, we are represented in all key customer industries and have attained strong positions in the relevant growth markets.

Forecasts Unchanged in the Reporting Period
Information in the Annual Report 2012 Page
Future organization and corporate structure 131 ff.
Future corporate objectives and strategy 131 ff.
Future production and products 132 ff.
Future sales markets and competitive position 132 ff.
Future research and development activities 119 ff., 132
Future financing 134 f.
Future dividend policy 135