LEVERKUSEN, Germany (March 19, 2010)—Sales for rubber and chemicals supplier Lanxess A.G. fell 23.1 percent in 2009 to about $6.9 billion in the midst of the year's global downturn.
The company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for 2009 were about $633 million, down from about $983 million the year before, but within its adjusted target corridor. Net income also decreased to about $54 million from about $249 million in 2008.
Lanxess did receive a boost of confidence with a strong fourth quarter, however, as sales for the period rose slightly from the third quarter to about $1.9 billion. The sales figure was about 4.8 percent down from the like period of 2008.
EBITDA for the quarter were about $196 million—slightly above those of the third quarter and well above the more than $118 million posted in the like period of 2008, the company reported. Net income in the fourth quarter was about $19 million, a turnaround from the more than $43 million loss the year before.
The Leverkusen-based firm's rubber business was buoyed in the final weeks of 2009 by positive developments in Asia, plus strong demand for winter tires in North America and Europe.
Lanxess Chairman Axel C. Heitmann said the company's results in the “crisis year” showed that it passed the “stress test.” He added that the firm expected a significant year-on-year improvement in 2010, even if there is “currently no sign of a self-sustaining upswing.”