Solvay Q1 2024 net sales down 12% to € 1.2 billion

Solvay Q1 2024 net sales down 12% to € 1.2 billion

Underlying net profit from continuing operations was €119 million in Q1 2024 vs. €187 million in Q1 2023

  • By ICN Bureau | May 08, 2024

Solvay has reported net sales for Q1 2024 at €1,201 million, down 11.9% organically versus Q1 2023. The company witnessed positive volume impact for the first time in seven quarters in both Basic and Performance Chemicals segments. Prices decreased, mostly reflecting the lower energy and raw material costs.

During first quarter, underlying EBITDA of €265 million for the first quarter was 13.6% lower organically compared to a high Q1 2023, with negative Net Pricing partially offset by positive volume impact and lower fixed costs. The EBITDA margin remained solid at 22.1%, and improved sequentially. First cost savings initiatives are already bearing fruit, with €19 million achieved in Q1 2024.

Underlying net profit from continuing operations was €119 million in Q1 2024 vs. €187 million in Q1 2023.

Free Cash Flow was strong at €123 million in Q1 2024, from resilient EBITDA combined with discipline on working capital, costs and capex. ROCE was 19.8% in Q1 2024.

Commenting on the result, Philippe Kehren, CEO, Solvay, said: “I’m proud of our performance in the first quarter, despite challenging macroeconomic conditions, as we focused on what is under our control: capex, costs and cash. Certain areas of our business have shown promising momentum compared to the trough from late 2023, but we cannot call it a recovery yet. We are rapidly deploying cost-saving initiatives that have already started to deliver. Looking ahead, we maintain confidence in meeting our targets for 2024. Our simplified portfolio, clear operating model and strong focus on cash are great assets to position Solvay for sustained success in the years to come.”

2024 outlook

In the first quarter of 2024, while Solvay benefitted from slight volume pick-up in some of its businesses, management has maintained a strong focus on costs and cash. Looking ahead, the company is confident that it can keep its fixed costs under control. Despite green shoots in some segments in Q1, soft demand combined with a volatile macro and geopolitical environment lead Solvay to remain prudent. As a consequence the view on the rest of the year is relatively unchanged at this stage.

Solvay confirms, for full year 2024, its guidance of organic growth of the underlying EBITDA by -10% to -20% (translating into a range of €925 million to €1,040 million at a 1.10 EUR/USD exchange rate) and its guidance of Free Cash Flow to Solvay shareholders to be greater than €260 million.

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