Clariant forecasts above-market 2022 growth with H2 slowdown

ZURICH, May 19 (Reuters) - Clariant expects strong growth in local currency in 2022, particularly in the first half, the Swiss speciality chemicals group said as it released 2021 results delayed by whistleblower allegations that staff manipulated accounts.

High uncertainty amid geopolitical conflicts, suspension of business in Russia and the resurgence of COVID-19 in China were expected to impact economic growth and consumer demand in the second half, it said on Thursday.

“Clariant expects the high inflationary environment with regard to raw material, energy and logistic cost as well as supply chain challenges to persist in the second half of 2022,” it added.

Clariant aimed to improve its 2022 year-on-year EBITDA margin levels via volume growth, cost discipline, and pricing.

It confirmed its 2025 ambition to deliver a 4–6% compounded annual sales growth rate and an EBITDA margin of 19–21%.

It proposed a regular distribution of 0.40 Swiss franc per share to be made by reducing the par value of shares.

Clariant last month concluded its probe of allegations that some staff manipulated accounts in 2020 and 2021 to help meet financial targets, finding no impact on sales and cash previously reported. (Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Silke Koltrowitz)