Nabaltec AG: Revenue growth of 49.7% in the first quarter of 2010
- Recovery gaining momentum in both business divisions, "Functional Fillers" and "Technical Ceramics"
- Return to the profit zone at the operative level
- Revenue forecast for 2010 as a whole: EUR 85 - 95 million
- Nabaltec receives "2010 Future Prize" from the District of Schwandorf
Nabaltec AG registered clear improvement in its operating performance over all product segments and sales regions in the first quarter of 2010. The gradual recovery was already evident in the third and fourth quarters of last year and recently, Nabaltec has posted even stronger growth: consolidated revenues are up 49.7%, to EUR 24.4 million. Revenues in the "Functional Fillers" business division grew 56.6%, to EUR 16.6 million, while revenues in the "Technical Ceramics" business division were up 36.8%, to EUR 7.8 million. Operating profit (EBIT) returned to the profit zone, rising from EUR -1.8 million in the first quarter of last year to EUR 0.9 million in the first quarter of 2010. Consolidated net result after noncontrolling interests in the reporting quarter was EUR -0.3 million, compared to EUR -2.7 million in the first quarter of last year.
Gerhard Witzany, Management Board member of Nabaltec AG, commented as follows: "The increasing momentum and, above all, the breadth of the recovery is, for us, a clear indication of sustainability. But we must also keep in mind that the first quarter of last year was the low point of the general crisis. It is too early to project the results from the first three months of the year over all twelve months. Some of our customers, particularly in the refractory industry, are expecting the market to move sideways at midyear." In light of this situation, Nabaltec expects revenues of between EUR 85 million and EUR 95 million for the year. EBIT should be positive for the year as a whole, as was the case in the first quarter. However, Nabaltec's consolidated result after interest and taxes will once again be negative.
According to Johannes Heckmann, Management Board member of Nabaltec AG: "Our current planning incorporates conservative assumptions with respect to our new businesses: additives for the plastics industry and boehmites for the electronics industry. Both segments have developed positively and we expect to gain momentum in the second half of 2010. In the 'additives' business unit release procedures are underway with customers for qualities from the new production facility. In 2010 we will continue to promote the success of our boehmites as halogenfree flame retardants in the production of electronic printed circuit boards by establishing our own production in Schwandorf, thus relieving the plant in Kelheim, which is currently working at the limits of its capacity. The Kelheim plant will be used again as a pilot facility for the development of new products."
Nabaltec will continue to work intensively to develop new products and new applications. At the same time, however, investments will be scaled back considerably in 2010 and the years to come. The investments needed for the commencement of boehmite production in Schwandorf are manageable, in the low singledigit EUR millions, and can be financed from current cash flow. Accordingly, free cash flow is projected to be clearly positive for 2010 as a whole, now that the multiyear investment program is largely completed. Cash flow from operating activities in the first quarter of 2010 was EUR 5.5 million (compared to EUR -3.6 million in the first quarter of last year) and cash flow from investment activities was EUR -1.8 million (compared to EUR -4.5 million in the first quarter of last year).
In yet another evidence to the company's innovativeness, Nabaltec AG recently won the "2010 Future Prize" from the District of Schwandorf in the category of business. According to the jury, the most important criterion for the award of this prize, the first "Future Prize" in the category of business, is outstanding performance with a positive impact on the development and future prospects for the district of Schwandorf. Nabaltec took first place in this category, along with another company, according to the jury, which included Prof. Gerhard Hirzinger of the German Aerospace Center and Prof. Dr. Stefan Beer of Amberg-Weiden University.
Nabaltec AG, with registered office in Schwandorf, a chemicals business which has received multiple awards for innovativeness, manufactures, develops and distributes highly specialized products based on aluminum hydroxide ("ATH") and aluminum oxide, as well as other raw materials, on an industrial scale through its "Functional Fillers" and "Technical Ceramics" divisions. The company's product range includes halogenfree flame retardant fillers and ecofriendly additives for the plastics industry. Flame retardant fillers are used e.g. in cables in tunnels, airports, highrise buildings and electronic devices, while additives replace stabilizers containing heavy metals in PVC processing. Nabaltec also produces base materials for use in technical ceramics, the refractory industry and catalysis. Unlike halogenated flame retardant fillers, the products manufactured by the company's "Functional Fillers" division contain no hazardous substances and do not require separate disposal. Rather, the company's flame retardant fillers actually decrease the development of fumes hazardous to human health and the environment in the event of fire. Nabaltec maintains production sites in Germany and the US and plans to continue to consolidate its market position by expanding capacity, further optimizing processes and quality and making strategic extensions to its product range. On the strength of its specialty products, the company strives to attain not just the quality leadership, but also the market leadership in each segment.