ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant CLN.VX should be able to meet its targets despite mixed developments in the world economy, Chief Executive Hariolf Kottmann was quoted as saying on Sunday.
“In some businesses we still have lots of new orders. In others, the volumes are falling significantly and are lower than last year. But profitability is still satisfactory,” Kottmann told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper in an interview.
“For Clariant, I don’t see any reason today to cast doubt on the forecasts. Business is developing as we expected. We have businesses which are growing in double-digits. In others, turnover is 15 or 20 percent below the previous year.”
The chemical industry’s dependence on highly cyclical machinery makers, car manufacturers and builders makes it especially vulnerable to economic downturns.
While Kottmann said south-east Asia and Latin America was still growing well, Europe’s economy was being destabilized by constantly changing signals from politicians.
“The market in southern Europe is dead. Not only for Clariant. We also have the impression that the dynamism is lessening in Germany,” he said.
“The U.S. economy is only growing superficially. That will probably stay that way until the presidential elections.”
Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Erica Billingham