Nutrition worst performer in positive Cognis H1 results

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chief executive officer

German supplier Cognis improved EBITDA performance by 67.5 per cent in the first half of 2010- but its nutrition and health division lagged behind the performance of its household chemicals and personal care divisions.

The company that BASF agreed to buy last month for €3.1bn knocked in sales of €1.514 for the first half of 2010, with earnings before interest, tax, debt and amortization (EBITDA) registering at €281m. Net profit for the half was €109m.

But the figures revealed nutrition and health was the worst performing division, with EBITDA growing only 30.8per cent, from €29m in H1 2009, to €38m in H1 2010.

Personal care grew 74.8 per cent from €93m to €163m – a 74.8 per cent expansion, while household chemicals grew 83.9 per cent to €82m from €45m.

In overall sales, personal care earned €845m for the half (16 per cent growth); household chemicals €483m (21.4 per cent growth) and nutrition and health €178m (6.3 per cent growth).

The company which has strong businesses in omega-3, lutein, plant sterols and vitamin E, said Asia Pacific sales were significantly above 2009 levels.

Real growth

"The development we are experiencing indicates not just a recovery, but real growth in consumer and industrial markets,”​ said Cognis chief executive officer, Antonio Trius.

“We were able to take full advantage of this growth due to our strategy of offering innovative products that are aligned with the wellness and sustainability trends. We strengthened our market position, and maintained our margins despite higher raw material costs. The excellent performance was again largely driven by our improved product mix, along with higher sales volumes, higher capacity utilization and stable operating costs."

Trius said the company expected to record a record full-year result but did caution that, “the economic situation remains highly uncertain and trading conditions are difficult to predict. We expect that markets will remain volatile, and that the recovery will continue at a more moderate pace in the second half of 2010."

BASF and Cognis earned €2.6bn and €2.58bn in revenues in 2009 – giving the new company, which is subject to anti-trust approval, combined sales of €5.18bn for the year.

The deal added €2.4bn of Cognis debt to BASF’s existing debt of about €13bn.

Cognis spokesperson Susanne Sengel said it may be some months before integration plans become clear.

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