Lanxess says automotive markets remain challenging

FRANKFURT, June 19 Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:58am EDT

FRANKFURT, June 19 (Reuters) - Lanxess, the world's largest maker of synthetic rubber for tyres, continues to grapple with a difficult business environment, it said on Wednesday.

"The market conditions remain challenging. Car and tyre demand has not yet recovered," a company spokesman said, when asked about market talk that finance chief Bernhard Duettmann had sounded a cautious note during an investor presentation in New York.

The spokesman cited Duettmann as saying during the presentation that Lanxess was likely to reach the middle of its previous target range.

Last month, Lanxess said it expected second-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 174-220 million euros ($233-$295 million).

European car sales plunged to the lowest level in two decades for May, further eroding manufacturers' hopes for a recovery this year.

The price of butadiene, the most important chemical raw material used by Lanxess, has dropped, the spokesman added.

The shares extended losses and were 2.2 percent lower at 1351 GMT. ($1 = 0.7467 euros) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Frank Siebelt)

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