Europe in particular saw a remarkable recovery in demand, and Cognis’ sales in this region increased by 10.1%. Sales in Asia-Pacific were 29.8% higher than in the previous year, reflecting that this region remains on track for growth, as well as Central and South America, where sales grew by 4%. In North America, sales increased by 2%.
Cognis’ operating result (adjusted EBITDA) of $160.4 million was the best in the company’s history. This represents a 79.6% increase of $71 million.
Cognis CEO Antonio Trius commented, “All our business units and regions delivered very strong results in the first quarter of 2010. With our innovative products aligned with the wellness and sustainability trends we were extremely well positioned to benefit from improved business conditions. Our company has been able to deliver excellent performance due to our improved product mix, significantly higher capacity utilization and lower operating costs.”
“With the global pickup in demand in the first quarter 2010 and the strong momentum continuing in April, there are clear signs that global economic conditions continue to recover,” added Trius. “We remain cautiously optimistic and expect that the recovery in Europe will continue and that Asia-Pacific and other emerging markets will remain on track for growth. By continuing to focus on green specialties, product innovations and particularly emerging markets, we expect to further participate in market growth. However, overall visibility remains limited and trading conditions are still uncertain.”
Care Chemicals recorded sales rose 10% to $498.2 million. This can be attributed to higher sales in the home and personal care markets, with demand increasing in nearly all regions and across the entire product portfolio, said the company.
Nutrition & Health saw its sales increase by 5.2% to $107.7 million.