ALTANA achieved double-digit growth in the first half of 2021. In the first six months of the year, the specialty chemicals group’s sales rose by 24 percent to 1,334 million euros compared to the same period of the previous year (1,078 million euros), which was significantly influenced by the coronavirus pandemic. The sales increase was driven by strong demand for ALTANA solutions in almost all sales segments. Adjusted for acquisition and exchange-rate effects, sales were up by 26 percent. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased to 283 million euros, 40 percent above the previous year’s figure (202 million euros). Owing to demand, the EBITDA margin reached 21.2 percent in the first half of 2021, thus exceeding the company’s longterm target range of 18 to 20 percent and the same period of 2020 (18.7 percent).
In the first six months, ALTANA once again spent a considerable amount on research and development, over 80 million euros, and achieved important milestones in innovation, climate protection, and digitalization. In April, for example, the BYK division began operating a digital high-performance laboratory that is unique in the specialty chemicals industry. This high-throughput screening facility is the largest of its kind in the world and doubles BYK’s capacity in application technology. In June, the ACTEGA division launched Signite, a new technology that can halve waste from consumer goods label production.
On its way to CO2 neutrality by 2025, the ALTANA Group reported its first nearly CO2-free sites: ACTEGA in Brazil and Bremen, as well as ACTEGA in Foshan and ECKART in Zhuhai (both in China). All four sites have cut their CO2 emissions by more than 95 percent each.
"Our strong half-year results once again highlight how robustly ALTANA is positioned for the future," said ALTANA CEO Martin Babilas. "With our innovative solutions for increasingly sustainable products for everyday life and our program to achieve climate neutrality by 2025, we are moving our customers forward and at the same time ALTANA as a responsible company."
As recently as June, the European Investment Bank (EIB) recognized ALTANA's climate protection efforts in line with the EU's Green Deal and provided the company with a € 200 million credit line for further green research projects. Almost simultaneously, ALTANA secured another credit line with a sustainability component amounting to € 250 million from an international banking consortium. For the first time, the interest rate is also linked to the company's performance in terms of climate neutrality and occupational safety. In concrete terms, this means that "If we achieve our sustainability goals, we will also benefit economically," saysALTANA CFO Stefan Genten.