German chemicals group on the road to success / Change of personnel in divisions / Russian customers being supplied from inventory
Last year went splendidly for Evonik (Essen, Germany; www.evonik.com), and the chemicals group also expects good business in 2022.

After a “successful start”, according to a statement, the company expects an increase in adjusted EBITDA of at least 10% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. Full-year 2022 sales are likely to be in the range of EUR 15.5 bn and EUR 16.5 bn, Evonik said, and added that in terms of adjusted EBITDA, the target is EUR 2.5 bn to EUR 2.6 bn. Evonik sees the increasing share of sales from new, high-margin products as the driving force behind the expected growth.

In 2021, sales increased by 23% to EUR 14.95 bn and adjusted EBITDA rose by a quarter to EUR 2.38 bn. Strong demand from all chemical divisions provided a boost, and the group was also able to successfully price in the increased costs for raw materials, energy, and logistics. The adjusted group result thus climbed by more than half (54%) to EUR 986 mn.

In the plastics-related business units, sales of Performance Materials, which includes C4 and related products, shot up by 47% to EUR 2.91 bn. Here too, rising demand and significantly higher sales prices were largely responsible, and the weak business development in superabsorbents was easily compensated for. Adjusted EBITDA jumped from EUR 88 mn to EUR 316 mn.

The Smart Materials segment also performed well, although not quite as dynamically as Performance Materials. Rising demand from the automotive industry fuelled demand for high-performance plastics, and for polyamide 12 powder for 3D printing; membranes for gas treatment were also in high demand. The activities for inorganic products, tyre silicas, specialities, and hydrogen peroxide were also able to expand sales. In total, the division’s revenues increased by 21% to EUR 3.92 bn and adjusted EBITDA rose by 23% to EUR 650 mn.

Meanwhile, the Specialty Additives business unit increased its sales by 15% to EUR 3.71 bn. Additives for polyurethane foams, products for the construction and coatings industry, and materials for renewable energies did particularly well, but in the second half of the year the turbulence in global supply chains and associated insufficient availability of individual raw materials made themselves felt. In the end, however, adjusted EBITDA still showed an increase of 7%, to EUR 920 mn.
Changes in management
For the first time, a member of the extended executive board will move from Essen, Germany, to Asia. Claus Rettig, previously the head of Smart Materials division, will in the future manage the entire Asian business from there, with a general power of attorney. “If you want to participate in the growth of Asian markets, you can’t just supply these markets,” said Christian Kullmann, who leads the group with 33,000 employees worldwide as CEO. “He must also be present on the ground.”

The new head of Smart Materials business is set to be Lauren Kjeldsen, who was previously responsible for the Special Additives business. Her successor in turn will be Claudine Mollenkopf, and Joachim Dahm will be the new head of Technology & Infrastructure. Additionally, Maike Schuh is to become the new head of Performance Materials.
Ongoing operations in Russia
In light of the war in Ukraine, the German company has decided to continue limited operations in Russia. A company representative told Plasteurope.com that in accordance with international rules and regulations, Evonik is currently fulfilling contracts with its customers in the country. “A significant part of our business in Russia is used for local food production. Further products are used for the production of hygiene articles and other products for daily use,” the company said in a statement.

Business in Russia makes up about 1% of Evonik’s sales. “Evonik does not have any production sites in Russia. Russian customers are currently being supplied from inventory within the country.”

At the company’s annual earnings press conference on 3 March, CEO Kullmann had said, “Last year, we generated sales of around EUR 10 mn in Ukraine. But that’s not what matters here. What matters is every single employee, every single fate, every single family member of our employees, and that’s what we’re taking care of, because that’s our duty and our responsibility.”
10.03.2022 Plasteurope.com [249814-0]
Published on 10.03.2022
Evonik: Chemiekonzern weiterhin auf der ErfolgsspurGerman version of this article...

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