(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
"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
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.