PCC SE PCC posts significant increase in consolidated sales and earnings for 2018
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Duisburg (pta020/25.03.2019/10:58) - The Duisburg-based holding company PCC SE significantly increased consolidated sales and net income in the 2018 fiscal year. With around 3,500 employees in 18 countries, the PCC Group managed by PCC SE generated sales of EUR 781.3 million in 2018, representing an increase of 14.4 % versus prior year. Consolidated earnings before interest and other financial items, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 33.8 % to EUR 98.8 million, while earnings before taxes (EBT) almost tripled to EUR 40.1 million. "The main reason for this growth lay in an increase in sales volumes with commodity price levels remaining at a high level," explains Ulrike Warnecke, Managing Director of PCC SE. "The Chemicals segments Chlorine and Surfactants, together with the business units Commodity Trading and Intermodal Transport, were particularly instrumental in this development." Taken as a whole, the Chemicals division - by far PCC's largest - significantly exceeded expectations in terms of both revenues and earnings.
"The fourth quarter saw a continuation of the positive performance of the previous months at the majority of PCC SE's affiliates," comments Warnecke. Although the quarterly sales figure of EUR 190.6 million fell short of the record level for the previous quarter of EUR 203.3 million, revenues nevertheless remained at a high level. This also applies to EBITDA, which amounted to EUR 21.2 million in the fourth quarter.
The disclosures made herein represent preliminary figures for the consolidated financial statements. The final, audited financial data will be published on our website https://www.pcc.eu, and specifically under http://www.pcc-financialdata.eu, in the second quarter of 2019 once the consolidated financial statements have been approved and certified.
Group segment highlights
As the biggest contributor to PCC's revenues and earnings by far, the Chemicals division with its five segments Polyols, Surfactants, Chlorine, Specialty Chemicals and Consumer Products posted sales in the fourth quarter of 2018 amounting to EUR 161.4 million. As of year-end, divisional sales thus amounted to EUR 670.6, an increase of 14.1 % versus prior year. Sales overall were thus also higher than expected. On the earnings side, too, the corresponding figures for the previous year and our expectations for 2018 were again significantly exceeded.
In the Polyols segment, PCC Rokita SA - based in Brzeg Dolny (Poland) and the largest of the PCC Group's subsidiaries - succeeded in closing both the fourth quarter and full fiscal 2018 with positive results, despite operating in a difficult market environment. The Surfactants and Chlorine segments performed extremely well both in the final quarter of 2018 and over the year as a whole. With EBITDA of EUR 66.7 million in 2018, the Chlorine segment was also the main earnings driver of the PCC Group. The Chlorine business unit of PCC Rokita SA benefited in particular from rising prices for the chlorine derivative, sodium hydroxide monohydrate (caustic soda solution). The MCAA business unit also saw EBITDA increase once again in the fourth quarter. Commissioned in 2016, the production plant for ultra-pure monochloroacetic acid (MCAA) is the only one of its kind in Eastern Europe. The Specialty Chemicals segment likewise closed the fourth quarter of 2018 in profit, with results coming in better than expected. The primary contributor to these earnings was the commodity trading business led by Duisburg-based PCC Trade & Services GmbH. By contrast, sales and earnings in the Consumer Products segment, which is currently undergoing a restructuring process, were below expectations.
2018 saw us complete two major projects under the management of the Holding/Projects segment: In Russia's Tula region we succeeded in commissioning a plant in December 2018 for the production of high-purity aerosol-grade dimethyl ether (DME). The facility boasts an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons. DME is mainly used as a propellant, for example in the construction industry for the production of polyurethane construction foam and in the cosmetics industry for hairstyling products.
And, also in 2018, a production plant for silicon metal was commissioned in Iceland. This is powered exclusively by green electricity (primarily geothermal), making it one of the most environmentally compatible facilities of its kind in the world. However, the plant with an annual capacity of 32,000 metric tons has not yet been taken on stream for regular operations. Due in particular to the extreme nature, even for northern Iceland, of the prevailing weather, it has not yet been possible to maintain continuous production this winter. However, the revenue shortfall of EUR 57 million caused by the delay was largely compensated out by the strong performances posted by the majority of our portfolio businesses. Plans have been put in place for the final acceptance of the silicon metal plant in the near future.