3rd Quarter & First 9 months 2017 Financial Report

 Cover of 2016 annual reportQ3 Net salesQ3 Underlying EBITDAProfit attributable to Solvay share
2.5 billion €553 million €229 million €
9%1%

Basic earnings per share 

2.22€

YoY evolution (%)

Forenote

Following the announcements in December 2016 of the divestment of the Acetow and Vinythai businesses and in September 2017 of plans to divest the Polyamide business, these have been reclassified as discontinued operations and as assets held for sale. For comparative purposes, the third quarter and first 9 months of the 2016 income statement have been restated. The Vinythai transaction was completed end of February 2017 and the Acetow transaction end of May 2017.

Besides IFRS accounts, Solvay also presents underlying Income Statement performance indicators to provide a more consistent and comparable indication of the Group’s financial performance. The underlying performance indicators adjust IFRS figures for the non-cash Purchase Price Allocation (PPA) accounting impacts related to acquisitions, for the coupons of perpetual hybrid bonds, classified as equity under IFRS but treated as debt in the underlying statements, and for other elements that would distort the analysis of the Group’s underlying performance. The comments on the results made on pages3to9are on an underlying basis, unless otherwise stated

Highlights

  • Volumes up across all operating segments, resulting in 9% increase in Q3
  • Underlying EBITDA growth of 1% in Q3 and 9% year to date 
  • On track to achieve full year 2017 EBITDA and free cash flow outlook

Third quarter 2017 results

Net sales totaled €2.5 billion, with 9% volume growth offsetting foreign exchange conversion, leading to 4% growth overall.

Underlying EBITDA was up 1% at €553 million. Higher volumes, net of higher raw material, energy and fixed costs, delivered organic growth of 5%. Conversion of foreign exchange had a (3)% adverse effect. EBITDA margin was 22%.

  • Advanced Materials: €294 million, with growing demand for high-performance polymers in automotive, batteries and smart device markets. Volumes of composites used in aeronautics were overall stable, but fell in industrial applications.
  • Advanced Formulations: €129 million, with strong recovery continuing for shale oil & gas exploration formulations, and volumes were up in technology solutions for polymer additives and specialties.
  • Performance Chemicals: €178 million with increasing energy costs more than offsetting the strong volume growth in soda ash and the contribution from the new peroxide plant.
  • Corporate & Business Services: €(47) million, largely stable year on year, reflecting continued cost discipline offsetting inflation.

Profit attributable to Solvay share on an IFRS basis was €179 million, and includes a €(91) million impairment on the retained polyamide assets in Latin America. On an underlying basis it was €229 million, down from €247 million in 2016, reflecting a lower contribution from discontinued operations following the sale of Vinythai and Acetow in the first half of the year.

Free cash flow from continuing operations was €195 million in the quarter, resulting in an equivalent reduction in net debt.

Interim gross dividend at €1.38 per share, payable on January 18, 2018.

First 9 months 2017 results

Net sales totaled €7.6 billion, up 7%, driven by volume growth across all operating segments.

Underlying EBITDA grew 9% to €1,737 million, primarily reflecting volume growth and including the one-time synergy benefit announced in the second quarter. The underlying EBITDA margin over the nine month period reached a record 23%.

Profit attributable to Solvay share on an IFRS basis was €792 million. On an underlying basis it grew 20% to €794 million, reflecting higher earnings and lower financial charges.

Free cash flow from continuing operations rose to €446 million, up 33% compared to the same period in 2016.

Underlying net debt[1] decreased to €5.5 billion from €6.6 billion at the start of the year, following the completion of divestments. Net debt on an IFRS basis ended at €3.3 billion.

[1] Underlying net debt includes the perpetual hybrid bonds, accounted for as equity under IFRS.

CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu's comment

EBITDA progressed in organic terms, as strong volume growth across operating segments offset fixed cost increases and helped to maintain leading margins. The recently announced polyamide divestment will conclude the profound transformation of our business portfolio that we initiated 5 years ago. Going forward, our multi-specialty businesses are well-positioned to deliver a continued strong financial performance in 2017 and beyond.

2017 Outlook[2]

Solvay reaffirms its full year outlook for underlying EBITDA to grow in the range of 6% to 8%, and expects to generate more than €800 million of free cash flow.

[2] Outlook based on constant scope and foreign exchange.

Solvay is a multi-specialty chemical company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers in diverse global end markets. Its products and solutions are used in planes, cars, smart and medical devices, batteries, in mineral and oil extraction, among many other applications promoting sustainability. Its lightweighting materials enhance cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 27,000 employees in 58 countries. Net sales were € 10.9 billion in 2016, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR) and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level-1 ADR program.