In Q3, the Bayer group saw EBITDA before special items rise slightly, by 2.2% to EUR 1.84 bn and sales improve by 5.5% to EUR 9.7 bn. Figures for the year’s first nine months show EBITDA before special items up 6.4% to EUR 6.5 bn and sales up 5.2% to just under EUR 30 bn. Volume sales growth rates for the three-quarter period totalled 4.6% year-on-year, and 4.9% in the third quarter.
At BMS, EBITDA before special items declined by 4.3% to EUR 333m, due to higher raw materials and energy costs and slightly lower selling prices. The adjusted EBITDA margin sank to 11.1% from 12.6% in the 2011 period. The declines were only partly offset by volume growth, efficiency improvement and positive currency effects. Quarterly sales rose 8% to nearly EUR 3 bn, thanks to higher volumes, although adjusted for foreign exchange and portfolio changes growth was only 2.9%. Volumes in Europe were flat, but grew strongly in other regions. Lower selling prices in Asia were balanced by increases elsewhere.
In the BMS divisions, third-quarter adjusted sales of Polyurethanes, including feedstocks MDI, TDI and polyols, picked up by 10% to just below EUR 1.6 bn, driven in particular by higher volumes in all product groups and regions and by price increases in all regions except North America. Price hikes were achieved for MDI and TDI but polyols prices softened against the 2011 quarter. Adjusted sales of polycarbonate slackened against the strong 2011 period, with the setback of 10.5% to EUR 720m blamed on lower selling prices for both resins and sheet as well as demand weakness in China.
Commenting on BMS markets, CEO Patrick Thomas told analysts that the polycarbonate business currently is being depressed by softness in the high-end E&E segments. Pre-Christmas demand has not materialised to the extent expected. Polyurethanes applications have held up relatively well. While business in the automotive industry is deteriorating generally, Thomas said Bayer is benefiting from its stronger presence in the premium segment. Remarking on polymer inventories, the BMS chief said stock levels appear to be relatively depleted, but added that visibility at distributors, which in China control about 30% of the PC market, for example, is low.
Bayer Q3 stockholders' newsletter as a PDF document