Specialty chemicals company makes up ground / High-performance plastics exhibit strong dynamism
Castor beans and their oil are the basic materials of Arkema bio-polyamides (Photo: Arkema)
Even if the coatings unit grew faster in percentage terms, high-performance plastics operations at French speciality chemicals group Arkema (Colombes; posted a strong performance in the second quarter of 2021 versus the year-earlier period, with sales at the division rising more than 16% to EUR 729m for resins such as PA 11, PA 12, PEKK, fluoropolymers and additives.

In absolute terms, coatings ranked just behind at EUR 712m after a 63.3% increase from the second three months of last year. Paints, including those used in the automotive industry, likely gave business a disproportionately strong boost. The adhesives division, which was recently strengthened with acquisitions, ended up with an increase of 26.9% to EUR 575m.

Overall, CEO Thierry Le Hénaff reported EBIDTA of EUR 478m on revenues of almost EUR 2.4 bn. Arkema said it benefited from both higher sales volumes and sharply increased prices. The group was again noticeably above the figures for the same quarter of 2019. At that time it reported EBITDA of EUR 407m and sales of EUR 2.25 bn.

Due to the good figures, Le Hénaff dared to make a bolder forecast: Arkema now expects EBITDA of EUR 1.4 bn for the full year 2021.

The two sub-units of the advanced materials polymer division, however, developed very differently. While high-performance plastics posted an increase of 38.2% to EUR 246m, growth in the larger sub-segment for performance additives lagged significantly behind with only a 7.3% rise to EUR 483m. The sometimes very weak additive business for target applications such as PVC, engineering thermoplastics, biopolymers and thermoset resins obviously affected the division.
Refocusing the business
Arkema has strengthened its plastics segment with the purchase of Italian compounder Agiplast (Milan; – see of 31.05.2021) in a transaction completed at the end of June.

The company has been paring down its operations over the past few years. Trinseo (Berwyn, Pennsylvania / USA; bought Arkema’s MMA/PMMA business (see of 17.12.2020), and SK Global Chemical (Seoul / South Korea; snapped up the functional polyolefins unit (see of 05.06.2020). Once the company finds buyers for the intermediates area and its fluorine gases, the restructuring of the group will be complete, according to plans outlined be the CEO last year (see of 08.04.2020).
02.09.2021 [248413-0]
Published on 02.09.2021
Arkema: Spezialchemiekonzern macht deutlich Boden gutGerman version of this article...

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