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Solvay first quarter 2020 results

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  • Strong performance with underlying EBITDA of €569m, similar to Q1 2019 level, despite a €-20m impact from COVID-19 in China.
  • Good demand across many markets including healthcare, home and personal care, agro, food, automotive, and military sectors helped to mitigate the challenging oil and gas market.
  • Positive pricing and cost mitigation actions improved EBITDA margin 0.8pp to 23%..
  • Strong cash generation of €202 million, up significantly versus Q1 2019.
  • Confirmed dividend recommendation, highlighting the strength of cash flow generation, balance sheet, and liquidity. 
  • Launched Solvay Solidarity Fund to primarily support employees and dependents who experience hardship as a direct result of COVID-19.



Underlying, (in € million) Q1 2020 Q1 2019 % yoy % organic
Net sales 2,474 2,571 -3.8% -4.3%
EBITDA 569 571 -0.4% -1.2%
EBITDA margin 23.0% 22.2% +0.8pp -
FCF to shareholders from continuing operations 202 (91) n.m. -
FCF conversion ratio 40.4% 17.7% +22.7pp -


Our highest priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees during these unprecedented times, while remaining focused on safely serving our customers.  The actions we took in particular on costs and cash supported our strong performance, protected our industry-leading margins and exceeded our profit and cash expectations. Looking forward, headwinds are increasing and we expect second quarter results to be substantially lower.  That said, our decisive measures will set us on the path to rebound and resume our growth commitments at the right time,

Ilham Kadri, Solvay CEO

Outlook for 2020

On April 9, Solvay withdrew its full year guidance for 2020 due to the effects of the heightened uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic on key end markets.   

Financial News

Q1 2020 results are out

Access Solvay's first-quarter financial performance.

Solvay_ Executive Committee, Belgium
2.30pm CEST

Earnings live webcast

Ilham Kadri (CEO) and Karim Hajjar (CFO) engage with investors and shareholders.

Safe harbor

This press release may contain forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements describe expectations, plans, strategies, goals, future events or intentions. The achievement of forward-looking statements contained in this press release is subject to risks and uncertainties relating to a number of factors, including general economic factors, interest rate and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, changing market conditions, product competition, the nature of product development, impact of acquisitions and divestitures, restructurings, products withdrawals, regulatory approval processes, all-in scenario of R&I projects and other unusual items. Consequently, actual results or future events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Should known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, or should our assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could vary materially from those anticipated. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.

About Solvay Investor Relations

About Solvay

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 24,100 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering  better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of €10.2 billion in 2019. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels (SOLB) and Paris and in the United States, where its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a Level I ADR program. Learn more at

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