Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland), a maker of pigments and other specialty chemicals, announced that its second quarter sales for 2009 were down 24% in Swiss Francs (CHF), from the comparable period in 2008. Sales dropped from CHF 2.121 billion in Q2 2008 to CHF 1.609 billion in Q2 2009. Although volumes were down, the gross margin increased to 29.3% from 28.9% in Q2 2008. Net income remained negative, at CHF –61 million, due to restructuring and impairment costs of CHF 74 million. Operating cash flow reached CHF 184 million, compared to CHF 33 million in 2008.
The Pigments and Additives Division remained weak with sales declining 32% in Swiss Francs. Compared to the first quarter of 2009, revenues were up 12%. Business remained under pressure, but demand improved in the decorative and architectural market segments.
The company eliminated 1,423 job positions and plans to remove an additional 500 in 2009. Clariant also plans on simplifying its operational structure effective January 1, 2010.