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Outlook

The third quarter of 2012 was already marked by lower demand in some of the customer markets relevant to LANXESS. In addition, the general macroeconomic situation clouded as the third quarter progressed. With customer order patterns hard to predict and raw material prices expected to stay volatile for the medium term, a forecast of the business development for the remainder of the year is therefore difficult.

In addition to the risks related to the euro debt crisis, weaker growth in many parts of Asia and only limited economic momentum in the United States can be expected to impact economic development in Europe, in particular. Therefore, we predict a weak environment in Europe, with the pace of growth continuing to vary from one country to another. We anticipate moderate growth in the Asia and Latin America regions in the months ahead. However, they are also unlikely to experience any significant upturn for the time being. We expect growth to remain weak in the United States. In light of macroeconomic developments, we do not anticipate any additional growth momentum in the remaining months of 2012.

For this reason, LANXESS already introduced measures in the third quarter aimed at countering the effects of declining demand over the rest of the year. These include flexible asset management and our rigorous cost discipline.

We anticipate mixed trends in our customer industries over the coming months. For example, we expect Europe’s automotive sector to remain weak, while growth will be sustained in North America and China, although the high growth rates are slowing.

Demand from the tire industry for our synthetic rubbers is expected to stay weaker, albeit with regional variations. We predict that demand for agrochemicals will remain stable. We see no improvement in Europe’s construction industry through year end. By contrast, we think that the prospects in the North American construction industry will improve slightly. We believe that developments in the chemical industry as a whole in the fourth quarter will be characterized by slight growth.

We expect the prices for raw materials – especially petrochemical raw materials – and energy in the fourth quarter to be comparable to the quarter under review. Our goal remains to adhere to our price-before-volume strategy.

We continue to anticipate total cash outflows of €650 to €700 million for capital expenditures in 2012 as part of our targeted investment strategy to strengthen our position in the key markets.

The measures already introduced in the area of flexible asset management will help us address the growing economic challenges. Against this backdrop and assuming the economic climate does not worsen further in the fourth quarter, we expect growth in EBITDA pre exceptionals for 2012 at the lower end of the 5 to 10% range from the prior-year level of €1,146 million.

Forecasts Unchanged in the Reporting Period
   
Information in the Annual Report 2011 Page
   
Future organization and corporate structure 115 ff.
Future corporate objectives and strategy 115 ff.
Future production and products 116 ff.
Future sales markets and competitive position 115 ff.
Future research and development activities 104 ff., 116
Future dividend policy 119
Future financing 119

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