Clariant cut payouts

18 September 2001

Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant posted a SF1.3 billion (US$769 million) loss and finally admitted that it had paid too much for UK speciality chemicals company BTP last year. Clariant shares fell 14% after the company announced a further 1,000 job cuts, ten site closures and the sale of several underperforming businesses. The exercise involves SF1.57 billion (US$948 million) of special charges, the largest of which was a SF1.2 billion (US$725 million) write-down of the remaining SF2.5 billion (US$1.5 billion) goodwill on the BTP purchase. As a result, the company will cut their annual goodwill amortisation from SF146 million (US$88 million) to SF81 million (US$49 million). The group's equity has been cut to SF2 billion (US$1.2 billion) and net debt has grown to SF5.3bn (US$3.2 billion). Clariant have made ambitious acquisitions over the past two years in order to expand into higher-margin fine chemicals and reduce their dependence on the less profitable part of their business. However, the benefits had not materialised as quickly as the company had hoped.

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