VIENNA—Despite slightly lower sales, Semperit Group reported a 23.1 percent year-on-year increase in earnings (EBITDA) for the first three quarters of the year to about $62 million.
With sales coming in 2.7 percent lower, at $718 million, margins increased from 6.8 percent in the prior-year period to 8.6 percent.
Revenue fell by 1.5 percent in the Industrial Sector and by 4.9 percent in the Medical Sector, Semperit said.
"We have taken a major step forward; our systematic restructuring and transformation program is taking effect," said Martin Fuellenbach, chairman of Semperit A.G. Holding.
"The Medical Sector has also made a positive contribution to EBITDA for the second consecutive quarter, based on an increase in operating performance." Fuellenbach, nevertheless, cautioned that the company's medical products business remains under pressure due to "highly competitive" market conditions.
"Our relative competitive position has recently deteriorated significantly," he said. "Against this background, we are examining strategic options for the Medical Sector."
Fuellenbach went on to observe that global economic trends and trade conflicts had led to uncertainty in many industries with regard to investment decisions. And, while pressures on raw material markets "continued to ease," Fuellenbach said Semperit "continues to observe intense competition for some materials."
Industrial Sector businesses Semperflex and Semperform recorded slightly lower sales, while Sempertrans saw a higher decrease as it changed from a volume-based to a differentiated-product strategy.
"Profitability was consistently increased in the segments of the Industrial Sector due to positive effects of the initiatives from the restructuring and transformation program," Semperit reported.