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Solvay first quarter 2021 resultsStrong start to the year with double-digit growth in Cash and EBITDAand record EBITDA margins
May 5, 2021 at 7 a.m. CEST
- Net Sales in the first quarter of 2021 were up 1.9% organically driven by strong demand in automotive, with organic sales in Specialty Polymers up 10% year-on-year, exceptional performance in Coatis up 55%, and recovery in the mining industry driving Technology Solutions sales up 15%, whereas sales in Composites were 37% lower.
- Net Sales grew 8.6% organically year on year excluding Composites and Oil & Gas, which still face challenges yet have shown sequential improvement versus the fourth quarter.
- Structural cost savings of 80 million achieved in Q1, up 78% versus Q4 2020.
- Underlying EBITDA in Q1 2020 was up 10.3% organically yoy, and 7% higher than Q1 2019 on comparable FX & scope basis despite 3% lower sales, reflecting the impacts of significant cost reduction measures taken in the last 2 years. The underlying EBITDA margin increased yoy to a new record at 24.6% driven mainly by strong volume recovery in most markets and cost reductions measures, despite the adverse impacts such as increasing raw material and logistic prices as well as supply chain disruptions due to US storms and the Suez Canal blockage. This is 1.6 and 2.4 percentage points higher than Q1 2020 and Q1 2019, respectively.
- Underlying Net Profit was 240 million in Q1 2021, up 1.8% compared to Q1 2020.
- Free Cash Flow in Q1 2021 amounted to 282 million, up 40% of Q1 2020, reflecting continued working capital discipline even as activity levels increased, as well as the benefit of deleveraging debt and pensions. Total voluntary pension contributions of 0.8 billion since Q4 2019 generate an improvement of more than 100 million per annum.
- Progress on portfolio simplification, with the closure of 5 business line divestments in the first quarter and the last one occurring in Q2 2021.
- Reinvesting in Solvay One Planet, including a decision to invest further in energy transition at our Rheinberg Soda Ash plant with a complete phase out of coal. This action not only enables the site to be the lowest Soda Ash CO2 emitter globally (irrespective of the production process being natural or synthetic), but also creates significant economic value.