Sales for the fourth quarter were CHF1.71bn (€1.16bn), a fall of 2 per cent in Swiss currency, but an increase of 2 per cent in local currency.
The quarterly results underlined a marked recovery after a weak first nine months of the year. Full year 2009 sales were CHF6.61, a fall of 18 per cent in Swiss currency and a fall of 14 per cent in local currency.
Reduction in losses
Net loss for the quarter was reduced from CHF207m to CHF 23m, while for the full year it was reduced from CHF1.21bn to CHF 545m, thanks to refinancing initiatives and savings from restructuring.
In the company’s functional chemicals division, which is the most active in the personal care segment, full year sales fell 16 per cent to CHF2.38bn, while quarterly sales fell 10 per cent to CHF620m.
The company noted that demand remained stable for its personal care, a stark contrast to other heavier industries the company supplies to, specifically the automotive and construction sectors.
Further job cuts
CEO Hariolf Kottmann underlined that the road to recovery for the company would be marked by a significant restructuring programme, which will mean the loss of 500 jobs in the course of 2010 at its production sites worldwide.
“The aim remains to achieve sustainable above industry-average profitability by the end of 2010 and to create a solid platform for profitable growth in the years thereafter,” he said.
The company said that it does not foresee a sustainable recovery of the global economy and is therefore expecting to achieve sales growth in the low single-digit range during the course of 2010.