The group’s adjusted EBITDA climbed 31% to €653 million in the third quarter and therefore remained at the high level reported for the previous quarters. In the first nine months, adjusted EBITDA rose 37% to €1,964 million. This was attributable to the ongoing good volume trend, partly as a result of new capacities, and to higher selling prices. Further positive factors were slightly lower raw material costs and currency effects. The adjusted EBITDA margin of 19.4% in the third quarter stood out in the chemicals sector.
Between January and September the adjusted EBITDA margin rose to 19.1%, up from 14.8% in the prior-year period. Adjusted net income increased 36% to €296 million in the third quarter and 56% to €923 million in the first nine months. The strong business performance so far this year has had a favorable impact on the cash flow from operating activities.
At €1,329 million at the end of the first nine months it was already well above the cash flow of €1,066 million reported for 2014 as a whole.
“Evonik remains successful,” said Klaus Engel, chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG. “Our business is continuing to develop at a high level in the second half of the year. It is also pleasing to report that all three chemical segments were able to increase their earnings year-on-year in the third quarter. Building on that and on our belief in our performance, we are looking ahead with confidence.”
In the Performance Materials segment, sales declined 11% to €858 million in the third quarter (Q3 2014: €966 million). Alongside plant maintenance in the two most important businesses, this was because selling prices were impacted by the persistently low oil price. On the earnings side, however, this price effect was more than offset by a temporary margin advantage as a result of the reduction in the cost of oil-based feedstocks. Adjusted EBITDA therefore improved by 4% to €94 million (Q3 2014: €90 million). The adjusted EBITDA margin was 11%, up from 9.3% in the third quarter of 2014.
Evonik is confirming its expectations for the full year. Given the strong development of the operating business, in mid-year the company raised its guidance to sales of around €13.5 billion (2014: €12.9 billion) and adjusted EBITDA of around €2.4 billion (2014: €1.9 billion).