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Solvay’s Clamadieu Vows Big Earnings Jump By 2016

by Marc S. Reisch
April 30, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 18

Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, who becomes CEO of Solvay on May 11, has set a goal to increase the firm’s earnings by 45% to nearly $4 billion annually before taxes in 2016. Last September, Solvay spent $4.8 billion to buy French specialty chemical maker Rhodia, which Clamadieu had headed. The combined company had pro forma before-tax earnings of $2.7 billion in 2011 on sales of $16.8 billion. Speaking to reporters from London before a meeting with investors, he also pledged continued support for the firm’s combined R&D program and said Solvay has the financial strength to make bolt-on acquisitions in attractive business segments and regions. About two-thirds of the firm’s earnings growth will come from existing businesses, Clamadieu said, led by specialty polymers, consumer chemicals, and advanced materials. Earnings will also benefit from growth in emerging countries such as Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Korea. A cost-savings program now under way will account for the remaining earnings growth, he said. The program is expected to contribute $530 million to the bottom line, up from the $460 million predicted when the merger was announced in April 2011.


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