Record financial performance
- €8.8 billion sales, up 5.9% on 2017, with 7.9% organic growth
- €1,474 million EBITDA, up 6% on the excellent 2017 performance and at another record high
- A very solid year-end with fourth-quarter EBITDA at €287 million, up slightly on fourth-quarter 2017
- EBITDA margin of 16.7%, stable at a high level in a more unfavorable raw materials and currency context, and REBIT margin slightly up at 11.6% from 11.3% in 2017
- Adjusted net income up by a strong 22.5% to €725 million, representing €9.51 per share (€7.82 in 2017)
Excellent cash generation
- Free cash flow of €499 million, despite an acceleration of major organic growth investments
- Net debt scaled back to €1 billion, i.e. 0.7x 2018 EBITDA
Strong momentum of projects
- Ongoing integration of bolt-on acquisitions and implementation of synergies in adhesives
- Ramp-up of organic growth investments in advanced materials and Thiochemicals
- Step-up of cross-functional initiatives in corporate social responsibility, digital transformation and commercial excellence
Proposed dividend increase to €2.50 per share (from €2.30 in the prior year)
Arkema’s Board of Directors met on 26 February 2019 to approve the Group’s consolidated financial statements for 2018 and the annual financial statements of the parent company. At the close of the meeting, Chairman and CEO Thierry Le Hénaff stated:
“Arkema achieved another excellent set of results in 2018, following on from three years of strong growth. Our financial performance was up on the 2017 record level despite a more unfavorable raw materials environment as well as a mixed macro-economic context towards the end of the year. Our net debt remains tightly controlled thanks to our excellent generation of cash.
These results would not have been possible without the hard work of all of our people and I warmly thank them for that. These results further reflect the Group’s strength and the quality of its portfolio of businesses, which combines excellent positions in specialty businesses offering promising growth opportunities as well as global and competitive positions in intermediate product lines.
Our performance demonstrates the soundness of Arkema’s ambitious transformation strategy based on three strong growth pillars: innovation for sustainable development, bolt-on acquisitions in high value-added specialties and cutting-edge industrial investments to support our customers and partners in high-growth geographies.”
Outlook for 2019
The start of the year remains characterized by a volatile environment and some geopolitical tensions which are somewhat weighing on global demand. In this context, Arkema will maintain its focus on internal momentum and the implementation of its long-term strategy.
Consequently, the Group continues the roll-out of its industrial projects to reinforce its positions in specialty businesses and higher-growth regions, its innovation drive for sustainable development, its acquisition momentum in adhesives, its operational excellence initiatives as well as its policy of selectively raising its selling prices.
In 2019*, while remaining attentive to the development of the macro-economic environment, Arkema aims to demonstrate its resilience in this more complex environment and to consolidate its financial performance at high levels. In the first quarter, EBITDA is expected to be slightly below the very high comparison base of first-quarter 2018. For the full year, the Group aims to achieve an EBITDA comparable to the 2018 record level with momentum improving throughout the year, driven notably by the growth of specialty businesses.
*2019 takes into account the new IFRS 16 standard.