Tag Archives: 2020 Results

Brenntag reports Results for an “extraordinary” Year 2020

Operating EBITDA for the Group grows, despite Decline in Sales, particularly in North America

Global chemical distributor Brenntag AG (Essen, Germany) has published the annual results for 2020 today. Sales declined, but Operating Gross Profit for the group and in most geographic regions increased, except for North America. Earning per share remained constant at EUR 3.02 per share.  Brenntag is planning for an 8.0% increase of the dividend to EUR 1.35 per share. This is equivalent to a payout ratio of 44.7% of the Profit after Tax attributable to Brenntag’s shareholders. The dividend payment is subject to approval by the AGM in June.

Brenntag’s sales in 2020 were EUR 11’775.8 mn globally , -8.2% as reported and -6.0% on a constant currency basis, when compared with last year. (Operating) Gross Profit was EUR 2’850.4 mn, an increase of 1.0% as reported, and +3.3% on a constant currency basis. Overall, the group reported an Operating EBITDA of EUR 1’057.5 mn,  up 5.6% from the EUR 1’001.5 mn in 2019 as reported (an increase of 8.3 % on a constant currency basis). Both, Profit before Tax at EUR 663.3mn (EUR 633.4% in 2019) and Profit after Tax at EUR 473.8 mn (EUR 469.2 mn in 2019), remained virtually flat. This results in Earnings per Share attributable to Brenntag shareholders of EUR 3.02 per share, the same level as reached in 2019.

Net Working Capital decreased significantly from EUR 1’767.7 mn at the end of 2019 to EUR 1’346.6 mn at the end of last year. Based on this development, working capital turns improved from 7.0x to 7.3x during 2020. At a level of EUR 1’054.6 mn in 2020, free cash flow was up 26.0% from the EUR 837.3 mn realised in 2019, mostly driven by the reduction in Net Working Capital, Brenntag said.

Sales were impacted by a very challenging macro-economic environment and extraordinary economic conditions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Brenntag said it went into “crisis management mode” early on in the pandemic and managed to maintain uninterrupted supply chains throughout 2020.

In EMEA sales declined by 4.0% (-2.7% on a constant currency basis) to EUR 5’027.5 mn. On the Operating EBITDA level, the EMEA region increased significantly by 17.1% as reported to EUR 475.9 mn (+19.0% on a constant currency basis). Well performing sectors were Personal Care, Cleaning, Pharma and Coatings & Construction, Brenntag said. 

North America suffered from soft demand, particularly in Oil & Gas and Lubricants, with sales declining by 12.5% (10.6% on a constant currency basis) to EUR 4’191.0. The region reported also a decrease of Operating EBITDA, -8.5% to EUR 434.4 mn (-6.6 % on a constant currency basis).

Latin America reached an Operating EBITDA of EUR 63.5 mn, up 13.5% as reported from EUR 55.9 mn (+26.9.0% on a constant currency basis), despite  declining sales at EUR 819.4 mn, down 4.1% as reported (+6.0% on a constant currency basis). 

Asia Pacific contributed an increased Operating EBITDA of EUR 123.8 mn, up 22.5% from the EUR 101.1 mn reported for 2019 (+25.9 % on a constant currency basis. Brenntag said that “after being hit by the pandemic early in the year, the Asia Pacific region recovered sequentially, with particularly China seeing a quick and strong recovery. Almost all countries and many industries contributed to the very good results.” 

As part of the comprehensive transformation program dubbed “Project Brenntag”, which was launched by CEO Christain Kohlpaintner in mid-2020, the company has started to follow a new operating model based on two global divisions named Brenntag Essentials and Brenntag Specialties. Amongst other things, the project comprises programs for the site network optimisation (a reduction of the number of sites globally by 100, of which 30 were closed already in 2020) and a workforce reduction initiative (headcount reduction in 2020 was ca. 200 FTEs).  These, as well as other efficiency measures, are expected to generate a total increase of EUR 220 mn in Operating EBITDA by FY2023, ramping up year by year. In 2020 the initial contribution was approx. EUR 15 mn. 

Providing an outlook for 2021, Brenntag said it expects an Operating EBITDA for the current year between EUR 1’080 and 1’180 mn, assuming  that exchange rates remain stable. The group sees itself operating in a macroeconomic environment of considerable uncertainty, particularly in the first half of the year. The outlook also includes expected efficiency gains from the restructuring measures being currently implemented as part of Project Brenntag and full-year contributions from several acquistions closed during 2020, the announcement said. 

Additional details can be obtained via the links below:



Source: Brenntag press release, earnings call and annual report; DistriConsult analysis

HGE – DCG / 10.03.2021

IMCD reports continued Revenue and EBITA Growth in 2020

Acquisitions allow for Compensation of  Market Headwinds at IMCD

Specialty Chemicals distributor IMCD N.V. (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) last week reported on the performance for 2020. Sales (or revenues in IMCD terminology) were EUR 2’774.9 mn, up 3% from EUR 2’689.6 mn posted in 2019. IMCD said the reported growth is an amalgmate of effects from the first-time inclusion of acquisitions (+6%) and  an adverse currency exchange effect at -3%.


Gross Profit increased by 8% from  EUR 599.3 mn in 2019 to EUR 647.5 mn (+11% on a constant currency basis), Operating EBITA 13% from EUR 224.8 mn in 2019 to EUR 253.5 mn in 2020 (+16% on a constant currency basis) . This represents a return on sales of 9.1%, up from the 8.4% of the previous year and a conversion margin (= Operating EBITA as percentage of Gross Profit) that increased to a level of 39.2 % (up 170 Bps from the 37.5% achieved in 2019). This was based on better Gross Margins as well as lower operational expenses due to COVID-19 restrictions and targeted cost optimisation efforts.


The resulting in Cash Earnings per Share (i.e. before amortisation) were  EUR 3.22, an increase of 13% when compared with the result for 2019 at EUR 2.85. Free cash flow increased by EUR 59.8 mn, from EUR 222.2 mn in 2019 to EUR 282.0 mn for 2020. IMCD plans to propose a dividend of EUR 1.02 per share in cash (2019: EUR 0.90 per share).


As in previous years, IMCD’s (geographical) operating segments showed a mixed picture, in 2020 mostly driven by strong M&A activities in Asia-Pacific.  EMEA (defined as Europe, Turkey and Africa) posted revenues of EUR 1’326.9 mn, up 1% from EUR 1’314.6 mn as reported for 2019 (+3% on a constant currency basis). After  a slight decline in  2019, Operating EBITA in the region increased 4%  from EUR 126.3 mn to EUR 131.2 mn (+6% when adjusted for currency effects). At 9.9% of sales, the EBITA-Margin was close to double-digit level.


In the Americas  revenues were EUR 945.1 mn, down 4% compared to the EUR 983.0 mn as reported for 2019 (unchanged when adjusted for currency effects). Organic revenue development was -1%. The acquisitions made in 2019 (Unired and DCS Mexico) and 2020 (VitaQualy, Millikan and Banner Quimica) contributed 1 percentage-point of growth. Unfavourable currency trends deducted 4 percentage-points. Operating EBITA was EUR 86.0 mn, up 11% from the EUR 77.8 mn in the previous year (a growth of 16% at constant currency).


Asia-Pacific generated revenues of EUR 502.9 mn (significantly up from EUR 392.0 mn, +28% as reported, +33% in constant currency). Organic growth contributed 11 percentage-points, the effect of acquisitions completed in 2019 and 2020 was 21 percentage points. Negative exchange reate effects contributed a minus of 4 percentage points.Operating EBITA in that region came in at EUR 52.9 mn, which compares with EUR 35.7 mn in 2019, up 48% as reported and 53% when adjusted for currency effects.


As support functions were strengthened, structural cost increased by EUR 1.6 mn, resulting in an Operating EBITA for the “holding companies” (i.e. the head office in Rotterdam and regional head offices in Sinagpore and New Jersey, United States of America) of EUR -16.6 mn (compared to EUR -15.0 mn in 2019).


The original press release can be accessed via the link below:




Source: IMCD press release


HGE / DCG – 01.03.2021



Univar Solutions reports Q4-2020 and Full Year 2020 Results

Univar Solutions notes lower Demand in global industrial End Markets

Global chemical distributor Univar Solutions Inc. (Downers Grove, IL – United States) yesterday reported the financial results for the fourth quarter 2020. Consolidated net sales were USD 2’035.4 mn, down 5.5%  (-1.5% at constant currency) compared with USD 2’155.0 mn in fourth quarter 2019, as the overall global demand conditions were “challenging”.  The picture for the various geographic regions was mixed. The USA were down 9.5% at USD 1’224.9 mn. The EMEA (=Europe, Middle East & Africa) region achieved nominal sales growth of 2.1% and came in at USD 427.8 mn (-3.0% at constant currency). Canada recorded a small nominal sales growth of 0.9% to a level of USD 258.5 mn, despite the exit from wholesale Agriculture distribution (-0.6% at constant currency). In LATAM (= LAtin America) nominal sales were down 1.4% at USD 124.2 mn, but up 9.1% at constant currency.


Adjusted EBITDA came lower than in the same quarter last year at  USD 146.4 mn, a decline of  7.8% (-7.5% at constant currency). When adjusted for the divestment of the Environmental Services (“ES”) business unit, the change was -4.9% nominally and -4.6% at constant currency. All regions posted a nominal decline and except for LATAM also a decline at constant currency.


Overall this resulted in a net loss of USD -33.7 mn or earning per diluted share of USD -0.20, which is loer than the net loss of USD -55.1 mn and earnings per diluted share of USD -0.33 in the fourth quarter of the prior year, respectively due to lower taxes, partially ofset by losses on the sale of the Canadian Agricultural services business. During the fourth quarter Univar was able to reduce the Leverage Ratio to 3.5x from 3.8x at the end of Q3-2020.


For the full year 2020 Univar posted sales of USD 8’265.0 mn, down 11.0%  (-10.3% at constant currency) from USD 9’286.9 mn in 2019. With sales of USD 5’006.2 mn (-14.1%) the USA remained the largest region, followed by EMEA and Canada with USD ‘1’697 mn (-5.0%) and 1’110.0 mn (-8.8%), respectively. LATAM was more stable with sales at USD 451.0 mn (-0.9%).


Gross Profits were USD 1’258.3 mn (-8.7% / GP-margin 25.1 %) for the USA, USD 425.8 mn (+0.2% / GP-margin 25.1%) for EMEA, USD 215.1 mn (-8.0% / GP-margin 19.4%) for Canada and USD 103.0 mn (-1.3% / GP-margin 22.8%) for the LATAM region, resulting in a total of USD 2’002.2 mn (-6.5% / GP-margin 24.2% on average).


Total Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA was USD 635.8 mn, down 9.7% (-8.4% at constant currency), reflecting an EBITDA-margin of 7.69%. This is up 11 Bps from the 7.58% EBITDA-margin reached in 2019. Net income for 2020 was USD 52.9 mn or USD 0.31 per share. This compares with a net loss of USD 100.2 mn or USD -0.61 per share for 2019. Adjusted net income was USD 211.9 mn, equivalent to to adjusted earnings of USD 1.25 per share (on 169.8 mn sahres), slightly down  from the USD 1.40 per share in the year before (based on 164.1 mn shares), which resulted from an adjusted net income of USD 231.6 mn in 2019.


For Q1-2021 Univar Solutions expects to generate an Adjusted EBITDA in the range of USD 150 to 160 mn (compared to USD 161.6 mn in Q1-2020). For the full year 2021 that range was given at USD 630 to 650 mn, despite that in Univar’s view “the exact timing of the economic recovery is uncertain”. These numbers also reflect planned divestments.


Fore further details see the following link:




Source: Univar press release


HGE – DCG / 25.02.2021

DKSH reports solid Results for 2020, proposes higher Dividend

Performance Materials BU of DKSH manages well, integrating Acquisitions and increasing EBIT by 2.2%

Market expansion services provider (and speciality chemicals  and ingredients distributor) DKSH AG (Zurich, Switzerland)  today reported its financial results for 2020. Mostly due to COVID-19 and the pandemic-related restrictions, lockdown and ouright travel bans that resulted in GDP contraction, sales for the group decreased by 7.2% (-2.1% at constant exchange rat es / “CER”) to CHF 10’742 mn (from CHF 11’579 mn). As acquistions contributed 2.1%, the existing business declined by 4.2% for the group. The currency effect was negative, at -5.1%.

Operating profit (EBIT) was also down 3.0 % (up 2.4% at CER) at CHF 257.5 mn (against CHF 265.4 mn in 2019). Profit after Tax decreased by 8.0% (-2.9% at CER) to CHF 164.8 mn (was CHF 176.1 mn). Free cash flow increased 34.1% from CHF 156.7 mn to CHF 210.2 mn. The Board of Directors of DKSK will propose an increase in dividend of 2.6% to a new level of CHF 1.95 per share.


The Performance Materials BU (i.e. the specialty chemicals and ingredients distribution business) reported an increase in net sales to  CHF 1’108.0 mn, 9.5% above 2019 (+ 15.1% at CER) based on an expansion of business with existing clients and the consolidation of business acquired at the end of 2019. EBIT was CHF 91.7 mn, up 2.2% from the CHF 89.7 mn in 2019 (+7.0% at CER). The unit particularly benefited from the acquisition of Axieo, which led to a significant increase of geografic coverage in Australia and New Zealand, although at a slight dilution of margins, DKSH said in the announcement.


Source: DKSH press release


HGE / DCG – 09.02.2021