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Highlights Q1 2012

Groundbreaking announced for world’s largest Nd-PBR plant

LANXESS will break ground for its new neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) plant in Singapore on September 11, 2012. The company plans to invest roughly €200 million in the new facility at the chemical park on Jurong Island. With a capacity of 140,000 tons per year, the facility will be the largest of its kind in the world and serve the growing market for “green tires,” especially in Asia, beginning in the first half of 2015. Construction of the new, state-of-the-art butyl rubber facility, also on Jurong Island, is well up to schedule.

Photo: The members of the LANXESS Board of Management at the Annual Press Conference 2012: Dr. Bernhard Düttmann, Dr. Rainier van Roessel, Dr. Axel C. Heitmann, Dr. Werner Breuers (left to right)
The members of the LANXESS Board of Management at the Annual Press Conference 2012: Dr. Bernhard Düttmann, Dr. Rainier van Roessel, Dr. Axel C. Heitmann, Dr. Werner Breuers (left to right)

LANXESS reports record earnings

LANXESS continued on a path of growth in 2011, with record sales and earnings figures. Thanks to the price-before-volume strategy, successful acquisitions and focus on the emerging markets, Group sales climbed by 23% to €8,775 million. EBITDA pre exceptionals improved by 25% to EUR 1,146 million, exceeding €1 billion for the first time. The EBITDA margin pre exceptionals came in at 13.1% against 12.9% in 2010. Net income rose disproportionately compared with sales and EBITDA pre exceptionals, improving by one third from the previous year to €506 million. This positive development is reflected in the proposed 21% increase in the dividend to €0.85 per share, which will be put to the vote at the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting on May 15.

LANXESS steps up commitment to renewable raw materials

LANXESS has invested US$10 million in U.S. company BioAmber, Inc., based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. BioAmber is a global leader in succinic acid produced from renewable resources such as corn. One of the uses for succinic acid is in the production of plasticizers. Together, LANXESS and BioAmber have developed phthalate-free plasticizers that offer a cost-effective and safe alternative to phthalate-containing formulations. It is planned to launch the new plasticizers this year.

Expansion of cresol production in Leverkusen

LANXESS is investing approximately €20 million to expand cresol production at the Leverkusen site by about 20%. The additional capacities for this high-grade intermediate for the global market are due on stream in mid-2013. The applications for cresols include the manufacture of vitamin E, resins, flame retardants and agrochemicals.

LANXESS places first bond issue in Hong Kong

LANXESS has become the first German chemicals company to successfully place a Chinese offshore renminbi-denominated bond in Hong Kong, thus further diversifying its funding sources. The issue has a volume equivalent to roughly €60 million, a three-year term and a 3.95% coupon. LANXESS plans to use the proceeds of the issue to finance its business operations and growth projects in China.

Foto: Skyline Hongkong

New CO2 concentration unit in Newcastle, South Africa

LANXESS is investing €40 million to build a CO2 concentration unit at its state-of-the art production facility for sodium dichromate, which is processed mainly into chrome tanning materials for the global leather industry. This investment will make LANXESS independent of external suppliers. Construction of the new unit started in the first quarter of 2012, with commissioning scheduled for the second half of 2013. Not only will this project allow optimum capacity utilization at the plant, it will also create the basis for future increases in production. In addition, CO2 emissions from the Newcastle site will be cut by around 25%.

LANXESS acquires U.S. producer of vulcanization bladders

LANXESS has strengthened its position as a premium supplier to the tire industry by acquiring U.S.-based Tire Curing Bladders LLC (TCB). With an annual capacity in excess of 400,000 vulcanization bladders, TCB is a leading manufacturer that mainly serves the North American market. TCB will be integrated into the Rhein Chemie business unit, which will thus make a strategically significant entry into the manufacture of vulcanization bladders for tires of trucks, agricultural vehicles, off-road vehicles and construction machinery.