Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Clariant AG reported a rise in second-quarter profit as the Swiss specialty-chemical maker benefited from increased demand in emerging markets for high-margin personal and home care chemicals.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and one-time items increased 2 percent to 215 million Swiss francs ($218 million), the Basel-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts had predicted 216 million francs, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Clariant is tapping growing demand for high-margin ingredients used in consumer-care products sold in emerging markets. Chief Executive Officer Hariolf Kottmann has transformed the Swiss company by making acquisitions, selling commodity chemical assets and innovating in areas such as cosmetic ingredients, oil-drilling chemicals and catalysts.

Clariant confirmed its mid-term target of improving its profitability margin before exceptional items to between 16 percent and 19 percent, according to Thursday’s statement. The margin widened to 15.1 percent from 15 percent in the latest quarter.

“Clariant has considerably expanded operating cash flow and also significantly improved its profitability in the first half of the year,” Kottmann said in the statement, attributing this to a shift to high-margin specialities and cost management.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alice Baghdjian in Zurich at abaghdjian@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tara Patel at tpatel2@bloomberg.net.

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