LANXESS employees around the globe celebrate fifth anniversary of listing

Company first listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on January 31, 2005

On February 1, 2010, specialty chemicals group LANXESS will mark the fifth anniversary of becoming a listed company. Some 14,600 employees working at LANXESS sites around the globe will celebrate the day the group was first listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The first price quoted for LANXESS shares on January 31, 2005 stood at EUR 15.75.  Five years later, on February 1, 2010, the opening price was EUR 27.42.

Germany’s largest listed specialty chemicals group, which is based in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, has kept writing new chapters in its relatively short but eventful history. “Although we started out in unfavorable circumstances and had to overcome a number of difficult phases, we have now secured the company a position of considerable standing in the chemical industry thanks to the commitment and solidarity shown by all our staff,” said Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the LANXESS Board of Management, in the run-up to the anniversary celebrations in Leverkusen. “LANXESS will continue to play globally a leading role in this sector and enjoy prominent market positions thanks to its innovative products,” he added.


Focused group

The successful growth strategy on the global markets went hand in hand with systematic optimization of the group structures. At the outset, LANXESS was made up of 17 business units organized in four segments. Now, the specialty chemicals group focuses on three segments with 13 business units and matches the profitability of its key competitors. A total sales volume of around EUR 1.5 billion has been divested. In parallel to this organizational alignment, new financial and controlling systems have also been put in place. “This has created the conditions for us to emerge stronger from the global economic crisis,” remarked Heitmann.


Valuable acquisitions

Following successful completion of the transformation, LANXESS set its sights on growth. In order to expand business, the company has systematically focused on the BRIC states. In China, the “LANXESS goes Asia” initiative launched in 2006 has focused on acquisitions, the expansion of existing plants, and the establishment of several research alliances.  Important steps the company has already taken in this direction are the acquisitions of Jinzhuo Chemicals (now LANXESS Specialty Chemicals Co., Ltd.) in 2008 and Jiangsu Polyols (now LANXESS (Liyang) Polyols Co., Ltd. ) in 2009 in China.   Other major investments in China include the compounding plant by LANXESS Semi-Crystalline Products (SCP) Business Unit in Wuxi which was opened in 2006 and the Rubber Research Center (RRCQ) in Qingdao which was established in 2008 and expanded in 2009.  With these targeted measures, LANXESS was able to continuously grow its business in China. Apart from growing sales results, this fact is also reflected in the rising importance of Greater China for LANXESS group sales (12.5% in Q3, 2009).


“Our growth strategy in the BRIC states has had to face its first trial of strength in these times of crisis and has passed this with flying colors. Asia and China in particular are currently the driving force behind economic development,” said Heitmann.


Innovative product portfolio

Over the past five years, LANXESS’ product portfolio has been streamlined, boosted by new applications and strengthened by collaborations. As LANXESS demonstrated at the 2009 Innovation Day, the Group focuses on high-quality technology-driven products and processes, and on sectors with less cyclical businesses. Despite the global crisis, LANXESS has increased its research and innovation budget. It currently has 100 projects in the development pipeline.


The World Rubber Day organized by LANXESS in Cologne in September 2009, complete with a scientific symposium, provided an overview of just what the company’s innovative product portfolio is capable of. This event underlined LANXESS’ position as the world’s leading synthetic rubber manufacturer. In the past weeks, LANXESS has also announced the start of work on its new rubber plant in Singapore – at EUR 400 million the largest investment in the company’s history – and the construction of a new state-of-the-art production facility for water treatment membranes in Bitterfeld, Germany.


Increased earning power

The company’s achievements over the past five years are also reflected in the improvement in the company’s key financial figures. In 2004, LANXESS started out with an EBITDA margin pre exceptionals of 6.6 percent. By 2008, this margin has increased to 11.0 percent. LANXESS had thus attained its goal of closing the gap on the average figure achieved by its competitors. In 2009, the ICIS Chemical Business magazine, the leading information provider for the industry, named LANXESS “Company of the Year” due to its “outstanding economic development in a challenging 2008.”


Sustainable solutions

LANXESS focuses on sustainable solutions and is investing in climate-friendly technologies and processes all over the world. It has won a number of awards for its commitment in this area. For example,

At the Wuxi site, preservatives used for cleaning vessels for chemical reactions cut the wastewater significantly.  Water consumption has been reduced by more than 80 percent. Wastewater per metric ton of product has also been lowered by 55 percent.


The Inorganic Pigments facility in Jinshan, Shanghai, which was opened in 2007, is another shining example of environmentally friendly production. The iron oxide plant for manufacturing color pigments is one of the first in China equipped with an ultra-modern wastewater plant that is directly linked to the industrial water treatment facility. In 2009, LANXESS saved again over 15 percent in energy consumption thanks to its innovative technology. The site also saved almost 20 percent of water in 2009 by recycling the cooling water.


Corporate social responsibility

LANXESS takes social responsibilities seriously and actively seeks opportunities to add value within its business.  Leadership, society services and educational outreach are very important for LANXESS. Over the past two years, the group has invested around EUR 1.5 million in an education initiative that started in 2008. The initiative’s key aim is to help local high schools achieve long-term improvement in their teaching of natural sciences and in their research facilities. This commitment to natural sciences is reinforced by numerous practical events that the company organizes.


In China, since 2007 LANXESS has brought one of the best youth orchestras to China as part of the “LANXESS young.euro.classic China Tour”, featuring some of the most talented young musicians from Germany and China.  By providing various learning opportunities to these young talents, the company strongly showcases commitment to help the society invest in its future. 

Additionally, LANXESS organizes the Children’s Environmental Protection Program “LANXESS Cup” each year in Shanghai in conjunction with the World Environment Day.  It has been launched for four consecutive years with the purpose to cultivate environmental awareness among children. Besides, LANXESS sponsored the “Global News Day for Children” on November 20, 2009 which was initiated by Xinhua News Agency to promote better understanding of the situation of children worldwide.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemical company, with sales of EUR 6.58 billion in 2008, and currently employs approximately 14,600 people in 23 countries around the world. The company is represented at 46 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.


Forward-looking statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Information for editors:
All LANXESS news releases and accompanying photo, video and audio material can be found on http://www.lanxess.cn.
You can find further information concerning LANXESS chemistry in our WebMagazine on http://webmagazine.lanxess.com.


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