CELANESE
Lower earnings forecast for 2019 on geopolitical uncertainties / Engineered Materials and Acetyl Chain lift 2018 sales
US chemicals and plastics producer Celanese (Dallas, Texas; www.celanese.com) expects its key financial earnings benchmark will decline in 2019 as markets grapple with the US-China trade impasse as well as economic slowdowns in China and Europe. It forecasts adjusted earnings-per-share will dip to USD 10.50 (EUR 9.16) from USD 11.00. In 2018, earnings-per-share climbed 46.5% to USD 11.00, adjusted for one-offs, such as accounting losses in pension benefits, mergers/acquisitions and restructurings.

Celanese reaffirmed the USD 12.00 adjusted earnings-per-share target for fiscal 2019 on the assumptions that underlying economic fundamentals and demand for its products remain strong. “We believe the economic weakness surfacing last quarter primarily in Europe and Asia will continue through the first quarter and into the second before global business starts to recover. Assuming this slower start and expecting some fourth quarter 2019 moderation, which we commonly see, we would anticipate 2019 adjusted earnings of approximately USD 10.50 per share," CEO Mark Rohr told analysts.

In 2018, Celanese sales grew 17% to USD 7.2 bn due to price and volume expansion, with robust contributions from both the Engineered Materials and Acetyl Chain segments. Net earnings soared 42.8% to USD 1.21 bn.

Sales at Engineered Materials increased 17% to USD 2.6 bn on volume growth and contributions from the Nilit and Omni acquisitions – see Plasteurope.com of 10.05.2017 and 22.12.2017. Operating profit of USD 460m gained 11.7%.

The Acetyl Chain division generated sales of USD 4.0 bn, an improvement of 20%. Pricing jumped 19%. Operating profit doubled to USD 1.0 bn, delivering a record profit margin of 25.3% that more than offset increases in raw material, freight and energy costs.

Acetate Tow’s sales dropped 2.8% to USD 649m while operating profit eased 31.2% to USD 130m. Volume here was flat. Pricing decreased 3% due to lower industry capacity utilisation. Raw material costs surged, primarily driven by higher acetyls pricing and freight costs.
05.02.2019 Plasteurope.com [241658-0]
Published on 05.02.2019
Celanese: Umsatz und Ergebnis steigen deutlichGerman version of this article...

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