Clariant considerably expanded its operating cash flow in 2016 while reporting sales growth and profitability improvement
The company's operating cash flow rose by 29% – to CHF 646m – compared to CHF 502 million in 2015.
This improvement is primarily attributable to higher profit, lower cash out for exceptional items and lower income taxes paid.
“Our good business performance was primarily achieved by means of a continued shift to high margin specialities, as well as good cost management'” said CEO Hariolf Kottmann.
For 2017, we are confident that we will achieve growth in local currency and progression in operating cash flow.
The company had sales of CHF 5.847bn in 2016, compared to 5.807bn in 2015. This corresponds to a 2% growth in local currency driven by higher volumes.
For the full year, local currency growth was strongest in Asia and the Middle East and Africa.
EBITDA before exceptional items increased by 4% in Swiss francs and reached CHF 887m, compared to 853m in the previous year.
Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann
Net debt was CHF 1.540bn compared to CHF 1.312bn recorded at year-end 2015 as a result of the bolt-on acquisitions in 2016.
The continued improvement in performance allows the Board of Directors to propose a dividend of CHF 0.45 per share to the Annual General Meeting. This sum reflects an increase of 12.5% compared to the previous year.
It is proposed that the distribution be made from the capital contribution reserve which is exempt from Swiss withholding tax.
Clariant expects the uncertain environment, characterised by a high volatility in commodity prices, currencies as well as political uncertainties, to continue.