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Arkema to focus on speciality materials

Arkema has held a strategy update meeting, at which it presented “its ambition to become a world leader in speciality materials, realigned around three coherent businesses with attractive growth prospects”. By 2024, it aims to be a pure player in this field with “a resilient and focused portfolio, characterised by high profitability and strong cash generation”.

The three main future growth businesses of Adhesive Solutions, Advanced Materials, and Coating Solutions will be reported as individual divisions. These already account for 80% of sales, following a long-term focus on them since 2006.

“Arkema enjoys a unique positioning around those three growth platforms. These combine real in-house innovation expertise, strong commercial and industrial synergies, and a common approach to serving customers in sustainable and growing markets,” the company said.

A separate Intermediates division will unite three other businesses, all of which have more volatile markets. Here, Arkema will follow different strategies, looking at options including divestment for MMA/PMMA, exploring “possible alternatives to minimise its exposure to the most emissive applications” of Fluorogases and rebalancing Asia Acrylics between upstream and downstream.

The key financial aims, by 2024, are sales of sales of €10-11 billion/year and an EBITDA margin up from 15.8% to 17%. To this end, Arkema will carry on with innovation projects and investments in major projects, notably speciality polyamides in Asia, and furthering the consolidation of the adhesives market. In the shorter term, it is taking crisis management measures around Covid-19, which is expected to have a €40-50 million EBITDA impact in Q1.

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