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07.11.2018 – 07:30

Lenzing AG

EANS-News: Lenzing AG
Lenzing Group reports solid results in a demanding market environment

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Financial Figures/Balance Sheet/Quarterly Report

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* Decline in revenue due to lower prices for standard viscose, less favorable
  currencies and lower production volume
* Pressure on prices for key raw materials remains high
* Positive impact due to focus on specialty fibers and further optimization of
  the product mix
* Expansion project in Mobile temporarily mothballed
* Acquisition of the remaining 30 percent of Lenzing (Nanjing) Fibers Co. Ltd.

Lenzing - The Lenzing Group recorded a solid business development in the first
three quarters of 2018. The decline in revenue and earnings compared with the
same period of the previous year was essentially based on a mix of lower prices
for standard viscose, more unfavorable exchange rates and price increases for
key raw materials. The Lenzing Group's strategic orientation with a focus on
specialty fibers had a positive impact in this environment.

Revenue decreased by 5.2 percent to EUR 1,636.2 mn over the comparative period
of the previous year. Apart from the high starting base, this was primarily
attributable to the expected challenging market environment for standard
viscose, less favorable exchange rates and lower production volume. EBITDA
(earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) recorded a
decline by 26.8 percent to EUR 290.6 mn due to price increases for key raw
materials and higher energy and dissolving wood pulp prices. The EBITDA margin
dropped from 23 percent in the first three quarters of the previous year to 17.8
percent. EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) fell by 36.2 percent to EUR
190.3 mn, leading to a lower EBIT margin of 11.6 percent (01-09/2017: 17.3
percent). Net profit for the period dropped by 39 percent from EUR 219.3 mn in
the previous year to EUR 133.8 mn. Earnings per share equaled EUR 5.06 (01-09/
2017: EUR 8.12).

"The Lenzing Group is currently operating in a challenging environment. Against
this background, we are satisfied with the solid business development and the
corporate strategy sCore TEN has a positive impact. The new production line in
Heiligenkreuz started up successfully and customers' feedback has been
positive," says Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group.
"While many viscose producers are faced with a very tense profit situation, we
are well positioned due to our specialty strategy and still expect a
satisfactory full year", Doboczky adds.

Key strategic measures were implemented during the first three quarters of 2018
in line with the sCore TEN strategy. The start-up of new capacities for lyocell
fibers in Heiligenkreuz, the production start of LENZING(TM) ECOVERO(TM) fibers
at the Nanjing site and the investment in another pilot line for TENCEL(TM) Luxe
filaments are important steps to accomplish the goal of increasing the share of
specialty fibers in total revenue.

Zwtl.: Project in Mobile temporarily mothballed

Due to the decision to temporarily mothball the lyocell expansion project in
Mobile, Alabama (USA), in view of the buoyant US labor market and trade tensions
between the major trading blocks, the implementation of the expansion plan for
specialty staple fibers will be slowed down. The Lenzing Group will put all its
effort to readjust the execution of its growth plan to meet strong market demand
for its lyocell fibers. This includes an increased focus on the lyocell
expansion project in Prachinburi (Thailand).

Zwtl.: Advancing forward solutions

Regarding the capacity expansion for specialty products such as TENCEL(TM) Luxe
filaments and LENZING(TM) ECOVERO(TM) viscose fibers, Lenzing is still on track.
After the introduction of TENCEL(TM) Luxe branded lyocell filament yarns in the
previous year, Lenzing continues to drive innovations in the area of the value
chain. In September, the company also announced the successful development of
the LENZING(TM) Web Technology, a new technology platform focusing on
sustainable nonwoven products, which will lead to new market opportunities for
the industry. Following several years of research and development work and
investments totaling EUR 26 mn, the pilot plant at the headquarters in Lenzing
has been successfully put into operation.

Zwtl.: Largest dissolving wood pulp line worldwide

At the end of June, the Lenzing Group and Duratex, the largest producer of
industrialized wood panels of the southern hemisphere, announced that they had
agreed on the terms and conditions to form a joint venture to investigate
building the largest single line dissolving wood pulp plant in the state of
Minas Gerais (Brazil). This decision supports the self-supply with dissolving
wood pulp and the growth in specialty fibers. The joint venture is investigating
the construction of a 450,000 t dissolving wood pulp plant, which is expected to
become the largest and most competitive single line dissolving wood pulp plant
in the world. The final investment decision to build the dissolving wood pulp
plant is subject to the outcome of the basic engineering studies and the
approval by the respective supervisory boards.

Zwtl.: Acquisition of Chinese operation

At the beginning of November the takeover by the Lenzing Group of the remaining
30 percent of its Chinese subsidiary Lenzing (Nanjing) Fibers Co. Ltd. (LNF)
from its state-owned joint venture partner NCFC was completed. After closing of
the transaction, the Lenzing Group will hold 100 percent of LNF. The acquisition
will have a negative impact on net profit of approx. EUR 21 mn for the fiscal
year 2018. The purchase of the shares supports Lenzing's strategic growth as a
producer of specialty fibers from the renewable raw material wood in China and
worldwide. It paves the way to setting up further production lines for specialty
fibers. Lenzing wants to convert LNF into a specialty fibers hub over time.

Zwtl.: Expansion of capacities

CAPEX (investments in intangible assets and property, plant and equipment) rose
by 35.5 percent year-on-year to EUR 174.1 mn in the first three quarters of
2018. This is primarily attributable to capacity expansions in Heiligenkreuz and
the expansion of the existing dissolving wood pulp plant in Lenzing as well as
the investments made so far in Mobile.

Zwtl.: Outlook

Demand development on the global fiber market remains positive. Lenzing expects
wood-based cellulosic fibers to continue to grow at a higher rate than the
overall fiber market. In a challenging market environment the Lenzing Group
expects solid results for 2018, albeit lower than in the outstanding last two
years.

For 2019, Lenzing expects standard viscose markets to remain under pressure
because of an ongoing oversupply and very high raw material prices. Lenzing's
specialty fiber business is expected to continue the very positive development.

The above-mentioned development reassures the Lenzing Group in its chosen
corporate strategy sCore TEN. Lenzing is very well positioned in this market
environment and will continue its consistent focus on growth with specialty
fibers.


Key group indicators
(IFRS)                                    01-09/2018                  01-09/2017
(in EUR mn)
Revenue                                      1,636.2                     1,726.6
Earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and                          290.6                       397.1
amortization (EBITDA)
EBITDA margin in %                              17.8                        23.0
Earnings before interest                       190.3                       298.4
and tax (EBIT)
EBIT margin in %                                11.6                        17.3
Net profit for the period                      133.8                       219.3
CAPEX1                                         174.1                       128.5



                                          30/09/2018                  31/12/2017
Adjusted equity ratio2 in                       59.5                        61.2
%
Number of employees                            6,739                       6,488

1) Capital expenditures: i.e. acquisition of intangible assets, property, plant
and equipment as per statement of cash flows
2) Ratio of adjusted equity to total assets in percent

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Further inquiry note:
Lenzing AG
Mag. Waltraud Kaserer
Vice President Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
Tel.: +43 (0) 7672 701-2713
mailto: w.kaserer@lenzing.com

end of announcement                         euro adhoc
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issuer:       Lenzing AG
                
              A-A-4860 Lenzing
phone:        +43 7672-701-0
FAX:          +43 7672-96301
mail:      office@lenzing.com
WWW:       http://www.lenzing.com
ISIN:         AT0000644505
indexes:      ATX, WBI
stockmarkets: Wien
language:     English
 

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