- Gross profit* rises to EUR 477.9 million representing an increase in gross profit per business day by 4.9%
- Operating EBITDA** with EUR 164.7 million broadly stable compared to prior year
- Profit after tax of EUR 69.8 million and earnings per share of EUR 1.35
- Growth in all relevant performance indicators forecasted for the 2013 financial year
Brenntag (WKN A1DAHH), the global market leader in chemical distribution, recorded growth in sales and gross profit compared with the first quarter of the previous year. The company again achieved stable business performance in a challenging global economic situation.
Sales increased by 2.1% on a constant currency basis (1.4% as reported) to EUR 2,419.1 million (Q1 2012: EUR 2,384.8 million). One of Brenntag’s key performance indicators, gross profit*, increased by 1.3% year-on-year to EUR 477.9 million on a constant currency basis (0.6% as reported). Considering that the reporting quarter had fewer business days than previous year’s quarter this represents a rise in gross profit per business day by 4.9% on a constant currency basis. Operating EBITDA** saw a more moderate development, declining by 3.3% on a constant currency basis (4.0% as reported) to EUR 164.7 million (Q1 2012: EUR 171.6 million).
Profit after tax amounted to EUR 69.8 million in the first quarter of 2013 (Q1 2012: EUR 79.3 million), resulting in earnings per share attributable to Brenntag’s shareholders of to EUR 1.35 (Q1 2012: EUR 1.53).
The free cash flow amounted to EUR 70.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 after EUR 78.0 million in the same period of the previous year.
Steven Holland, CEO of Brenntag AG: “It is clear that this year will present very similar challenges to 2012. The global economic situation is even more demanding and economic development is still muted. Our sales performance should be understood in light of these factors and the fact that the first quarter had considerably fewer working days than the same period of the previous year. Our strategy and the resilience of our business model are elementary and effective pillars in an economic environment that remains challenging.”
European business develops in line with regional economy
In Europe, external sales increased slightly to EUR 1,151.9 million, a year-on-year rise of 0.4% on a constant currency basis (0.3% as reported). Gross profit* declined by 2.3% on a constant currency basis (2.6% as reported) to EUR 232.5 million. This development was slightly better than the downturn in industrial production in the region. In Europe, operating EBITDA decreased by 5.8% on a constant currency basis (6.2% as reported) to EUR 75.7 million.
Stable gross profit in North America
Compared with the same period of the previous year, gross profit* in the North America region increased by 1.2% on a constant currency basis (0.4% as reported) to EUR 179.2 million. Performance in the region was supported by the acquisition of Altivia LLC in December 2012. Operating EBITDA** in North America declined slightly from EUR 74.0 million in the first quarter of 2012 to EUR 69.7 million in the period under review ( 5.0% on a constant currency basis, 5.8% as reported).
Latin America participates in strong market development
Brenntag Latin America recorded healthy market growth, with gross profit* rising from EUR 40.6 million in the previous year to EUR 42.4 million in the first quarter of 2013. This represents a growth rate of 7.9% on a constant currency basis (4.4% as reported). Operating EBITDA** declined slightly as against the previous year, falling by 3.1% on a constant currency basis (5.9% as reported) to EUR 12.7 million.
Continuous growth in Asia Pacific
Brenntag Asia Pacific again recorded strong growth in the first quarter of 2013, thereby underlying the continuity of its development. Gross profit* improved by 27.9% on a constant currency basis (28.4% as reported) to EUR 31.2 million. Among other reasons, this growth was due to the contribution from the acquisition of the ISM/Salkat Group. In the first quarter of 2013, operating EBITDA** in the Asia Pacific segment rose by an impressive 30.4% on a constant currency basis (31.7% as reported) to EUR 13.3 million.
Brenntag looks to the future with confidence
Brenntag continues to believe that all of the relevant performance indicators in the current financial year will grow. Due to the macroeconomic uncertainty and under the assumption of no recovery in the overall economic environment we expect growth at a slower pace. Assuming growth in sales volumes and based on the continuous tight cost control, the company expects that the growth of operating gross profit will translate into a higher operating EBITDA. Brenntag believes that it remains extremely well positioned to deal with market conditions that remain challenging.