EANS-Adhoc: Lenzing AG / Record Results for the Lenzing Group

Geschrieben am 22-03-2012

ad-hoc disclosure transmitted by euro adhoc with the aim of a Europe-wide
distribution. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this

Company Information


-2 billion euro sales threshold surpassed for the first time
-Guidance met - proposed dividend of EUR 2.50/share
-Outlook for 2012 - mirror-inverted development compared to last year

The Lenzing Group continued its dynamic growth path of previous years
by posting record results in 2011. Despite a significant weakening of
the global fiber market in the second half of 2011, Lenzing once
again achieved double-digit growth rates in sales and earnings, and
surpassed the threshold of EUR 2 bn in consolidated sales for the
first time in the company´s history. Operating margins also improved
again from the already high level achieved in 2010 and set a new,
absolute record.

Consolidated sales in the reporting year 2011 rose by 21.2% to EUR
2.14 bn, up from EUR 1.77 bn in the prior year. This dynamic sales
growth can be attributed to higher average selling prices in its core
fiber business, higher fiber shipment volumes, the first-time
full-year consolidation of the pulp plant Biocel Paskov acquired in
May 2010 as well as higher sales in all other business areas.

Consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortization) amounted to EUR 480.3 mn, a rise of 45.3% from the
comparable figure of EUR 330.6 mn in the previous year. Earnings
before interest and tax (EBIT) climbed by 56.9% to EUR 364.0 mn
(2010: EUR 231.9 mn). The EBITDA and EBIT margins reached an all-time
high in 2011 at 22.4% (2010: 18.7%) and 17.0% (2010: 13.1%)

"Our dynamic growth path and specialty strategy led by the fibers
Lenzing Modal® and TENCEL® once again paid off in 2011. Whereas sales
with standard viscose fibers increased by close to 20% year-on-year,
we sold some 30% more TENCEL® fibers and close to 40% more Lenzing
Modal® fibers than in the prior year", explains Lenzing Chief
Executive Officer Peter Untersperger. The large-scale market success
of these two specialty fibers enabled Lenzing to partially detach
itself from the volatile market trends of 2011, according to CEO

Lenzing rigorously pressed ahead with its capacity expansion program
in 2011. As a result, the annual nominal production capacity of the
Lenzing Group rose by about 8%, from 710,000 tons of man-made
cellulose fibers at the beginning of 2011 to 770,000 tons at the turn
of the year 2011/12. Capital expenditures of the Lenzing Group
totaled EUR 196.3 mn in the 2011 financial year, somewhat below the
comparable prior-year figure of EUR 230.0 mn which had also included
the acquisition costs for Biocel Paskov. This development was due to
the postponement of investment projects as at the reporting date.

Despite the current level of investments, the net financial debt of
the Lenzing Group was reduced by almost half, declining to EUR 159.1
mn at the end of 2011 from the previous year´s figure of EUR 307.2
mn. The cash flow still reached a level of EUR 113.4 mn despite the
investments made. "With an adjusted equity ratio of close to 45% and
a net financial debt comprising one-third of annual EBITDA, we are
very well positioned financially. Lenzing is largely autonomous with
respect to its ability to finance growth steps in the upcoming years,
says Chief Financial Officer Thomas G. Winkler.

Full capacity utilization in the Segment Fibers According to
preliminary estimates, global fiber production rose by 4.1% to a new
record level of 79.1 mn tons in 2011. The production of man-made
cellulose fibers also reached an all-time high of 4.6 mn tons, up
4.2% from 2010.

The business development of the Segment Fibers in 2011 was
characterized by strong demand for Lenzing fibers, which was fueled
even more by record cotton prices in the first half of the year. The
market for standard textile viscose fibers significantly cooled off
in the second half of 2011, which did not impact fiber shipment
volumes but affected selling prices. The specialty fibers Lenzing
Modal® and TENCEL® as well as the nonwovens sector were hardly
impacted by this development. Throughout the year Lenzing succeeded
in raising average prices for all Lenzing fibers by close to 17%
compared to the previous year, to EUR 2.22 per kilogram.

"All our fiber production facilities were running at full capacity
throughout the entire year. The additional fiber volumes generated in
the course of the year by the second expansion stage of the plant in
Nanjing (China), the capacity expansion for Lenzing Modal® fibers
produced at the Lenzing site and TENCEL® fibers manufactured at the
Heiligenkreuz (Burgenland) facility were very successfully placed on
the market", reports Chief Operating Officer Friedrich Weninger,
Member of the Management Board.

The pulp plant Biocel Paskov (Czech Republic) acquired within the
context of the Lenzing Group´s further backward integration was
rapidly expanded in the reporting year to enable the production of
both paper pulp and dissolving pulp. Some 60,000 tons of dissolving
pulp were already produced in Paskov in 2011 and largely used for
fiber production within the Lenzing Group.

Good development of the Segment Plastics Products and Segment
Engineering The Segment Plastics Products developed satisfactorily in
2011, showing an EBITDA margin of 9.5%. A new record for shipment
volumes was posted during the year under review against the backdrop
of very good demand.

The Segment Engineering was also able to optimally take advantage of
the fundamentally positive mood in the capital goods market during
the reporting year, achieving an EBITDA-margin of 8.4%. Lenzing
Technik profited from both the extensive investment activity of the
Lenzing Group as well as from growing demand on the part of external

Outlook of the Lenzing Group Once again the Lenzing Group expects a
good year in 2012, which should see quarterly development in a
mirror-inverted manner. However, in terms of margins the current
financial year will not be able to fully match the exceptional record
year of 2011.

For the time being prices for Lenzing´s standard viscose fibers
should stabilize at a low level. In the course of 2012 Lenzing
anticipates a higher price level than in the first quarter as a
result of rising demand for both textile and nonwoven applications.

Good volume demand is expected for Lenzing Modal®, which should
continue to ensure a fair price premium vis-à-vis standard viscose
fibers and cotton. However, the considerable increase in the supply
of modal is resulting in temporary price adjustments compared to 2011
price levels. With respect to TENCEL®, Lenzing foresees ongoing
strong demand for textile and nonwoven applications and a largely
stable price premium vis-à-vis standard viscose fibers.

As a consequence of significantly higher fiber shipment volumes but
in the light of lower average prices in comparison to the prior-year
level, sales should rise to a level between EUR 2.2 bn and EUR 2.3 bn
in 2012. EBITDA should range between EUR 400 mn and EUR 480 mn and
EBIT is expected to range between EUR 285 mn and EUR 365 mn,
depending on the development of fiber and raw material prices as well
as the overall global economic environment.

Lenzing will press ahead with its dynamic expansion program as
planned, involving investments totaling approx. EUR 350 mn in 2012.
The good earnings situation and continued high liquidity will enable
the company to propose a dividend to the Shareholders´ Meeting
amounting to EUR 2.50 per share, i.e. about 25% of the consolidated
net income for the 2011 financial year.

Key Group indicators (IFRS)
in EUR mn 2011 2010(1)
Consolidated sales 2,140.0 1,766.3
EBITDA 480.3 330.6
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) 364.0 231.9
Earnings before tax and minority interest (EBT) 351.9 216.9
Profit for the year attributable to
Lenzing AG shareholders 258.7 159.1
EBITDA margin in % 22.4 18.7
EBIT margin in % 17.0 13.1
Gross cash flow 389.0 292.9
CAPEX 196.3 230.0

31.12.2011 31.12.2010
Adjusted equity ratio(2) in % 4.8 38.6
Number of employees(3) 6,593 6,530

(1) Values adjusted according to IFRS 5
(2) Equity incl. government grants less prop. deferred taxes
(3) Incl. trainees, excl. leased labor, headcount

Further inquiry note:
Lenzing AG
Mag. Angelika Guldt
Tel.: +43 (0) 7672-701-2713
Fax: +43 (0) 7672-918-2713

end of announcement euro adhoc

issuer: Lenzing AG

A-A-4860 Lenzing
phone: +43 7672-701-0
FAX: +43 7672-96301
mail: a.guldt@lenzing.com
WWW: http://www.lenzing.com
sector: Chemicals
ISIN: AT0000644505
indexes: WBI, ATX, Prime Market
stockmarkets: free trade: Berlin, official market: Wien
language: English


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