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Solvay first half year 2019 results

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Underlying EBITDA 

Q2:  €624m   -5.2% [1]  
H1:  €1,195m  -3.1% [1]

  • Net sales were up +2.6% in H1, and underlying EBITDA was -0.5% as forex conversion effects compensated for an organic [1] decrease of -3.1%. In Q2 Underlying EBITDA was down -5.2% organically [1]. The organic decrease includes the net year-on-year effect of one-time events of -1% and -2% for H1 and Q2 respectively.
  • Positive net pricing partly offset lower volumes and higher fixed costs resulting from the challenging macroeconomic environment. 
  • Underlying EBITDA margin in H1 remained solid at 23%. 

Advanced Materials

Q2: €300m  -17% [1]

H1: €590m  -12% [1]

  • Underlying EBITDA in Q2 decreased -17% organically [1], leading to an H1 performance of -12% organically [1] 
  • Double-digit volume growth in composites to aerospace partly offset declines in automotive and electronics markets  

Advanced Formulations

Q2: €138m  -9.2% [1]

H1: €264m  -5.8% [1]

  • Underlying EBITDA in Q2 was down -9.2% organically [1], bringing H1 EBITDA to -5.8% organically [1]  
  • Lower volumes in oil & gas market, which remains challenged, while other markets, including mining, agro and aroma performance, were more supportive. 

Performance Chemicals

Q2: €224m  +12% [1]

H1: €430m  +11% [1]

  • Underlying EBITDA in Q2 grew +12% organically [1], contributing to H1 organic [1] growth of +11%  
  • Higher prices and operational excellence supported growth, while demand remained solid.  


Underlying EPS [2] from continuing operations 

Q2: €2.30  -13%
H1: €4.30  -6.7%

  • Total underlying EPS [2] in H1 was €5.89, up +4.4%, including a strong contribution from discontinued polyamide activities. 
  • Underlying EPS [2] from continuing operations was down -6.7% in H1 on lower EBITDA and a higher tax rate. 



FCF to Solvay shareholders from continuing operations
Q2: €123m  +€240m
H1: €33m    +€51m

Free cash flow to Solvay shareholders turned positive to €33 million in H1, resulting from significantly stronger cash generation in the second quarter of €123 million, due to strong inventory management. 

  • Total Free cash flow to Solvay shareholders was €191 million in H1, exceeding free cash flow in H1 2018 by more than €100 million, thanks to a strong contribution from the discontinued Polyamide activities.  


2019 full year outlook confirmed

Despite continuing headwinds in certain end-markets, Solvay confirms its full year outlook: 

  • Underlying EBITDA to be flat to modestly down organically [3]
  • Free cash flow to shareholders from continuing operations to be around €490 million [4].


CEO Ilham Kadri: 

Ilham Kadri

“Solvay’s results in the second quarter met our expectations. Growth in aerospace, mining, agro and Aroma Performance was offset by the headwinds in automotive, electronics and oil & gas. Against this backdrop, we focused on actions within our control — cash, costs and pricing. We are progressing on our comprehensive strategy review, with a clear objective of unleashing and accelerating value creation. We look forward to sharing our strategy roadmap when we report our third quarter results in November.”


All comparisons are made year on year with 2018 pro forma figures, as if IFRS 16 had already been implemented in 2018, unless stated otherwise.

The full financial report can be found on:
An analyst call will be held at 13:30, please see:


[1]    Organic growth excludes forex conversion and scope effects, as well as the effect from the implementation of IFRS 16.  
[2]    Underlying earnings per share, basic calculation.  
[3]    Organic growth excludes forex conversion and scope effects, and compares to €2,330 pro forma in 2018, which already includes the €100 million IFRS 16 effect. 
[4]    Free cash flow to Solvay shareholders is free cash flow post financing payments and dividends to non-controlling interests, and compares to €566 million in 2018. Free cash flow from continuing operations (before financing) is expected at around €770 million in 2019, compared to €846 million pro forma in 2018. 

Solvay is an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers worldwide in many diverse end-markets. Its products are used in planes, cars, batteries, smart and medical devices, as well as in mineral and oil and gas extraction, enhancing efficiency and sustainability. Its lightweighting materials promote 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 24,500 employees in 62 countries. Net sales were €10.3 billion in 2018, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 22%. 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. (Figures take into account the planned divestment of Polyamides.)

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