Arkema, at its capital markets day in Paris on Monday, presented its strategy and ambitions and confirmed its mid- and long-term objectives. The group has also detailed its transformation since its stock market listing and the projects and strategies that will drive the company’s future growth. Arkema has, in the last nine years, emphasized growing its advanced materials portfolio. The company’s location and business portfolio have been transformed as part of a focused growth strategy driven by working with customers, innovation, acquisitions, and a higher level of investments. The acquisition of Bostik, the start-up of its thiochemicals plant in Malaysia, and the announcement on Monday of a €60-million ($66.2 million) investment at the Honfleur site in France to double molecular sieves production capacity illustrate this strategy.
Arkema has also confirmed its mid- and long-term targets to achieve a €1.3-billion Ebitda by 2017 and €10 billion in sales with an Ebitda margin close to 17% by 2020, all subject to normalized conditions. To achieve these objectives, Arkema has set out a number of priorities, including accelerating the development of its high-performance materials business segment through innovation in composite materials, new energies and water treatment, and bolt-on acquisitions. This segment will account for 50% of the group’s sales by 2020. The company also plans to significantly develop Bostik, a leading adhesives business acquired at the beginning of the year, with an ambition to double Ebitda generated in adhesives by 2020. Other targets include capitalizing on the new thiochemicals site in Malaysia, introducing new generation of fluorogases, reinforcing the downstream acrylics’ activities, and additives for the oil and gas market.
Plans also include continuing efforts in operational excellence with a target increased by €50 million compared with the previous plan and carrying through the announced divestment of noncore assets, including the recently announced divestment of Sunclear, which accounts for 25% of the target.
“A large number of promising projects have been finalized or announced in recent months, all representing growth platforms over the coming years. Arkema’s vision is built for the long term, and our teams are fully committed to turning the group into one of the top players in specialty chemicals,” says Thierry Le Hénaff, chairman and CEO.
Arkema has also announced plans to double capacity for specialty molecular sieves to support its customers’ growth, in particular in the refining and petrochemicals sectors of Asia and the Mideast. The investment is being carried out by its adsorption and filtration subsidiary at the Honfleur, France, site. The subsidiary is the world’s second-largest molecular sieves player, supplying the petrochemicals and refining industries with its Siliporite molecular sieves. The project will produce adsorbents for aromatics separation in petrochemicals, in particular the segment’s latest generation CECA molecular sieves—Siliporite SPX 5003—already produced on an industrial scale. Production is scheduled to come onstream in two phases, with the first starting in the summer of 2016 and the second in early 2017.
“Boosting [the adsorption and filtration subsidiary’s] production capacity for specialty molecular sieves will enable us to support the growth of the market of the order of 6–7%, especially in Asia and the Middle East, and in particular to serve our petrochemicals customers targeting end markets such as synthetic textiles and [polyethylene terephthalate] bottles,” says Marc-Antoine Mallet, managing director of the Arkema subsidiary.
By Natasha Alperowicz in Paris