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LANXESS Grapples with Challenges in 2023, Expects Moderate Improvement in 2024

The German chemical industry, including LANXESS, faced significant challenges in fiscal year 2023, marked by weak demand, high energy prices, and geopolitical tensions. LANXESS reported a decline in group sales and earnings, reflecting the broader economic downturn. However, despite the adversities, LANXESS expects a moderate increase in earnings for the current year.

In the fiscal year 2023, LANXESS recorded group sales of EUR 6.714 billion, a 17.0 per cent decrease compared to the previous year. EBITDA pre-exceptionals also declined by 44.9 per cent to EUR 512 million, with the EBITDA margin pre-exceptionals reaching 7.6 per cent, down from 11.5 per cent the previous year. The decline in earnings was primarily attributed to weaker demand, reduced sales volumes, and higher idle costs, particularly affecting the Specialty Additives and Advanced Intermediates segments.

Despite the challenging environment, LANXESS achieved a significant reduction in net debt to EUR 2.498 billion and improved its free cash flow to EUR 526 million. The company implemented cost-saving measures through its "FORWARD!" action plan, realizing EUR 100 million in savings in 2023. Structural changes aimed at permanent cost reduction are expected to yield further benefits in the coming years.

Looking ahead, LANXESS anticipates continued challenges in the first half of 2024, with no immediate improvement expected in the first quarter. However, a moderate increase in sales volumes is projected starting from the second quarter. The company remains committed to its strategic initiatives, focusing on enhancing efficiency and strengthening its financial position.

LANXESS's dividend proposal for fiscal year 2023 reflects the challenging business environment, with a reduction to EUR 0.10 per share compared to EUR 1.05 in the previous year. Additionally, the company refined its speciality chemicals profile by transferring its High-Performance Materials business unit to Envalior and initiating the sale of the Urethane Systems business unit.

Despite the headwinds faced in 2023, LANXESS remains optimistic about its long-term prospects. By adapting to market conditions, implementing cost-saving measures, and refining its portfolio, LANXESS aims to navigate through the challenges and emerge stronger in the years ahead.

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