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European firms tough it out in the third quarter

by Alex Scott
November 9, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 44


Many of Europe’s leading chemical firms saw a dip in financial performance in the third quarter, continuing a trend from the previous quarter. Companies in Germany and the UK are among those struggling for financial growth. The German industry association VCI says chemical production in Germany from July to September fell by 0.6% from the previous quarter. “The current situation is not easy for chemistry,” VCI president Hans Van Bylen says in a statement. “Our main customers in both German and European industry are faced with major challenges. This is also reflected in the developments and projections of important customer sectors.” European companies including Borealis, Covestro, Evonik Industries, Solvay, and Wacker Chemie experienced declining sales during the third quarter compared with the previous quarter. The Chemical Industries Association, a UK trade group, says 38% of its members reported a sales decrease in the third quarter. Over 40% of members also reported a decline in export sales. The outlook would be better if the UK could make speedy progress in securing a new trade relationship with the European Union that coincides with the UK’s planned exit from the EU, the association says.


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