Clariant completes financial investigation
Clariant has announced that an external investigation of accounting issues related to provisions and accruals has been concluded. As a result, the 2020 financial statements and corrections to quarterly reporting of key financial data for 2020 and 2021will be restated. This will have no impact on the sales, cash and cash equivalents figures reported for these years.
Preliminary corrected 2020 figures have resulted in a continuing operational EBITDA of CHF 597 million (previously reported CHF 578 million) and an EBITDA margin of 15.5% (15.0%). Based on preliminary, unaudited figures, Clariant expects 2021 figures to be CHF 708 million and 16.2%.
The SIX Exchange Regulation has given it a requested extension to 15 June to report these, subject to certain sanctions. The Q1 2022 trading statement will be published by 30 June 2022 at the latest. In addition, CFO Stephan Lynen will step down on 1 July and will be replaced by Bill Collins, hitherto CFO and North American CEO of Engie.
The company had disclosed that an investigation would be necessary in February after internal whistleblowers drew attention to issues. As a result of the findings, it is implementing remedial actions including immediate moves to address internal controls over financial reporting, booking procedures, training and individual suspensions.
Clariant added that it had a good start to 2022 despite the current macroeconomic uncertainty, and expects to see “compelling sales growth in Q1 2022 as a result of strong global demand, driven by higher volumes and pricing”. This should largely offset variable cost increases and supply chain uncertainties.