COLOMBES, France—Arkema S.A. has reported a 4.4 percent decline in first half earnings (EBITDA) at $870 million, on flat sales of $4.9 billion.
During the first six months of the year, volumes fell 2.4 percent when compared to the year before. Volumes, Arkema disclosed Aug. 1, were impacted by lower demand in automotive, oil and gas and consumer electronics.
The 8 percent decline in volume was particularly noticeable within the high-performance materials segment. This was, however, offset by a 4.7 percent positive price development, leading to flat segment sales of about $2.2 billion.
Industrial specialties registered a 4 percent decline in sales during the first half, hit by 2.3 percent volume declines and 4.2 percent lower prices.
For the same period, Arkema witnessed "strong dynamic" in batteries and 3D printing, as well as "good growth" in coating solutions, which registered 6.8 percent increase in volumes.
Prices across the group took a slight hit (0.6 percent) for the period, impacted by lower prices in MMA/PMMA and fluorogases.
"Our performance, close to the record highs of last year, was driven in particular by the very solid performance of our specialty businesses," chairman and CEO Thierry Le Henaff said in a statement.
Looking forward, Arkema has confirmed its outlook for 2019 despite expecting the macroeconomic environment to remain "volatile and complex" in the second half of the year. The environment, Arkema said, will be marked by continued geopolitical uncertainties, which are weighing on global demand and raw material volatility.
The company, however, expects the inventory adjustments observed in the first half of the year in certain end-markets to ease in the second half.