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Clariant sales up in Q1 2012

May 04/2012

(Reuters) - Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant expects business to pick up in coming months as the global economy gains strength, after sluggish demand and a strong Swiss franc hit quarterly profit.

"Clariant expects further sales growth in local currencies and sustained profitability in 2012," it said on Thursday.

The chemical industry's dependence on highly cyclical machinery makers, car manufacturers and builders makes it especially vulnerable to economic downturns.

Clariant said that during the first three months of the year the cyclical parts of its business, which make products such as de-icing fluid, faced headwinds partly because of economic uncertainty in Europe. First-quarter net profit fell 84 percent to 20 million Swiss francs (USD22 million).

First-quarter sales rose 13 percent to 1.945 billion francs, compared with a forecast for 1.968 billion, boosted by Sued-Chemie. German rival BASF also saw a stronger-than-expected performance by its oil and gas unit.

Author:Anna Larionova
Category:General News
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