Clariant hikes divi after improved profitability

Clariant increased operating cash flow significantly in 2016 and saw sales growth and improved profitability.

Sales increased by 2% in local currency to CHF5.847bn while the EBITDA margin before exceptional items rose to 15.2% from 14.7%.#

Operating cash flow increased by 29% to CHF 646m compared and net income grew 16% to CHF263m.

The proposed dividend of CHF0.45 per share is up 12.5% and the group said the said it expected continued progression in profitability and operating cash flow generation this year.

Chief executive Hariolf Kottmann said: "Clariant considerably expanded its operating cash flow in 2016 while reporting sales growth and profitability improvement.

"Our good business performance was primarily achieved by means of a continued shift to high margin specialities, the impact of the differentiated steering in Plastics & Coatings as well as good cost management.

"For 2017, we are confident that we will achieve our targets, i.e. growth in local currency, progression in operating cash flow, absolute EBITDA and EBITDA margin before exceptional items in spite of a continued challenging economic environment."