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2010-02-01

LANXESS employees around the globe celebrate fifth anniversary of listing

Company first listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on January 31, 2005

On February 1, 2010, specialty chemicals group LANXESS will mark the fifth anniversary of becoming a listed company. Some 14,600 employees working at LANXESS sites around the globe will celebrate the day the group was first listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The first price quoted for LANXESS shares on January 31, 2005 stood at EUR 15.75. Five years later, on February 1, 2010, the opening price was EUR 27.42.

 

Germany’s largest listed specialty chemicals group, which is based in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, has kept writing new chapters in its relatively short but eventful history. “Although we started out in unfavorable circumstances and had to overcome a number of difficult phases, we have now secured the company a position of considerable standing in the chemical industry thanks to the commitment and solidarity shown by all our staff,” said Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the LANXESS Board of Management, in the run-up to the anniversary celebrations in Leverkusen. “LANXESS will continue to play globally a leading role in this sector and enjoy prominent market positions thanks to its innovative products,” he added.

 

A new LANXESS poster measuring around 1,000 m² with the anniversary motif will be put up at group headquarters in Leverkusen – right in the heart of Germany’s chemical region – to give a reminder of the group’s entry into independence and initial stock exchange listing. Employees will be invited to attend an anniversary event at the Chemical Park on February 2. The guest list will include Ulrich Freese, Deputy Chairman of the German Mine, Chemical and Power Workers’ Union (IG BCE). Similar events will take place at the other German sites.

 

Short but eventful history

 

Since LANXESS was entered in Cologne’s Commercial Register as an independent entity on January 28, 2005, numerous steps have been taken to ensure the company’s rapid and lasting competitiveness in the international arena.

 

Focused group

 

The successful growth strategy on the global markets went hand in hand with systematic optimization of the group structures. At the outset, LANXESS was made up of 17 business units organized in four segments. Now, the specialty chemicals group focuses on three segments with 13 business units and matches the profitability of its key competitors. A total sales volume of around EUR 1.5 billion has been divested. In parallel to this organizational alignment, new financial and controlling systems have also been put in place. “This has created the conditions for us to emerge stronger from the global economic crisis,” remarked Heitmann.

 

Valuable acquisitions

 

Following successful completion of the transformation, LANXESS set its sights on growth. In order to expand business, the company has systematically focused on the BRIC states. In China, the “LANXESS goes Asia” initiative launched in 2006 has focused on acquisitions, the expansion of existing plants, the creation of joint ventures and the establishment of several research alliances. In Brazil, LANXESS acquired Petroflex, Latin America’s leading synthetic rubber manufacturer, in 2007. In India, LANXESS strengthened its presence by taking over the business assets of Gwalior last year. And in Russia, an independent LANXESS country company was founded, also last year. “Our growth strategy in the BRIC states has had to face its first trial of strength in these times of crisis and has passed this with flying colors. Asia and China in particular are currently the driving force behind economic development,” said Heitmann.

 

Innovative product portfolio

 

Over the past five years, LANXESS’ product portfolio has been streamlined, boosted by new applications and strengthened by collaborations. As LANXESS demonstrated at the 2009 Innovation Day, the Group focuses on high-quality technology-driven products and processes, and on sectors with less cyclical businesses. Despite the global crisis, LANXESS has increased its research and innovation budget. It currently has 100 projects in the development pipeline.

 

The World Rubber Day organized by LANXESS in Cologne in September 2009, complete with a scientific symposium, provided an overview of just what the company’s innovative product portfolio is capable of. This event underlined LANXESS’ position as the world’s leading synthetic rubber manufacturer. In the past weeks, LANXESS has also announced the start of work on its new rubber plant in Singapore – at EUR 400 million the largest investment in the company’s history – and the construction of a new state-of-the-art production facility for water treatment membranes in Bitterfeld, Germany.

 

Increased earning power

 

The company’s achievements over the past five years are also reflected in the improvement in the company’s key financial figures. In 2004, LANXESS started out with an EBITDA margin pre exceptionals of 6.6 percent. By 2008, this margin has increased to 11.0 percent. LANXESS had thus attained its goal of closing the gap on the average figure achieved by its competitors. In 2009, the ICIS Chemical Business magazine, the leading information provider for the industry, named LANXESS “Company of the Year” due to its “outstanding economic development in a challenging 2008.”

 

Sustainable solutions

 

LANXESS focuses on sustainable solutions and is investing in climate-friendly technologies and processes all over the world. It has won a number of awards for its commitment in this area. For example, the new waste air treatment unit at the Port Jérôme site in France won the “Prix Entreprises et Environnement” in 2009. The panel of judges described the regenerative thermal oxidizer – RTO for short – as an exemplary green production process. At the end of 2009, LANXESS received an award in India for its water resource management. The judges were impressed by the company’s household wastewater treatment plant based on reverse osmosis technology.

 

LANXESS’ new nitrous oxide reduction unit (known as LARA) at its Krefeld-Uerdingen site was a winner in the “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas” contest under the patronage of German President Dr. Horst Köhler. A total of more than 2,200 entries were submitted. LARA will enable LANXESS to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent in Germany by 2012. Last but not least, a cogeneration plant is due to open this spring at the Porto Feliz site in Brazil. The plant generates both steam and electricity for the entire site by burning sugar cane waste.

 

Corporate social responsibility

 

LANXESS is keen to get young people interested in science from an early age. Over the past two years, the group has invested around EUR 1.5 million in an education initiative that started in 2008. The initiative’s key aim is to help local high schools achieve long-term improvement in their teaching of natural sciences and in their research facilities. This commitment to natural sciences is reinforced by numerous practical events that the company organizes.


The commitment to lit.COLOGNE announced in December 2009 represents a new means of transferring knowledge and encouraging scientific learning. “Taking part in Europe’s largest literature festival, our plans to relocate the group’s headquarters to Cologne and our sponsorship of the LANXESS arena underline our clear commitment to our roots here in North Rhine-Westphalia,” concluded Heitmann.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 6.58 billion in 2008 and currently around 14,600 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 43 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

Information for editors:

All LANXESS news releases and their accompanying photos can be found at http://corporate.lanxess.de/en/media/press-releases/.  Recent photos of the Board of Management and other LANXESS image material are available at http://fotos.lanxess.de/index_en.html. The latest TV footage, audiofiles and podcasts can be found at http://corporate.lanxess.com/en/media/audio-video/

You can find further information concerning LANXESS chemistry in our WebMagazine at http://webmagazine.lanxess.com

Contact

Rudolf Eickeler

Rudolf Eickeler
Spokesperson Financial and Business Media

Phone: +49 221 8885 4483

Fax: +49 221 8885 5691

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LANXESS`CEO Axel C. Heitmann visited the Frankfurt stock exchange on the occasion of the fifth year anniversary celebration of the listing. Photo. LANXESS

ACH-5-Jahre-Fft_en.jpg [JPG, 1 MB]

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