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ZURICH, April 27 Clariant's
first-quarter sales and operating profit beat expectations as
the Swiss chemicals maker said it was bolstered by acquisitions
and robust demand in regions including Europe, Asia and North
Sales rose 9 percent in local currency to 1.6 billion Swiss
francs ($1.61 billion), it said in a statement, ahead of the
average analyst estimate of 1.56 billion francs in a Reuters
Operating profit before exceptional items rose 10 percent to
250 million francs, above the 235 million franc poll estimate.
Clariant has been helped by acquisitions including in the
United States that added 3 percent to sales and by strong demand
for products in its plastics and coatings and care chemicals
division that supplies ingredients for soaps and consumer
The company confirmed its 2017 outlook, which calls for
continued local currency growth, progression in profitability
and operating cash flow generation.
"Our focus on local currency growth and profitability
improvement is clearly reflected in these encouraging results,"
Chief Executive Hariolf Kottman said.
"We are on a solid path towards achieving our sales
expansion targets, a continued progression in absolute EBITDA
and EBITDA margin before exceptional items as well as operating
cash flow generation, in spite of what continues to be a
challenging market environment in specific business areas.”
Clariant also stuck to its mid-term target of an EBITDA
margin before exceptional items in the range of 16 percent to 19
percent and a return on invested capital (ROIC) above the peer
($1 = 0.9931 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by John Miller, Editing by Michael Shields)