Tyre industry remains a Lanxess focus
While Lanxess says it is “pursuing strategic options for specific non-core businesses” and aims to reduce its global workforce by around 1,000 people by the end of 2015, the specialty chemicals firm’s reduced 2013 capex is being invested in areas serving the tyre and automotive industries. The company says work on its three key projects, including the new neodymium polybutadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) plant in Singapore is progressing according to plan.
“Our investments in plants for high-performance rubbers and lightweight materials strengthen our position as one of the leading suppliers to the tyre and automotive industries and will serve us very well when the markets recover,” said Board of Management chairman Axel C. Heitmann. “They will also bring us closer to our mid-term earnings goal of €1.8 billion EBITDA pre-exceptionals in 2018.”
While the tyre and automotive sectors remain a Lanxess focus, the company has implemented the cheerily-named ‘Advance’ programme of restructuring and efficiency measures, which aims to achieve annual savings of some €100 million from 2015 onwards. Non-core businesses likely to scrutinised include the High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit’s Perlon-Monofil business line, Rubber Chemicals’ (RUC) accelerators and antioxidants business lines, and High Performance Elastomers’ (HPE) nitrile butadiene rubber business line. Seven plants, employing a total of around 1,000 people, will be evaluated. “Each of these businesses is well positioned in its market, but can develop better over time with a different partner,” commented Heitmann.
The Board of Management chairman also confirmed the company’s full-year guidance for 2013 of €700-800 million EBITDA pre-exceptionals, excluding potential inventory devaluations.