FRANKFURT, March 27 (Reuters) - German specialty chemicals maker Lanxess (LXSG.DE) may have seen the worst in the ongoing slump in demand, its chief executive said late on Thursday.
“Up until the past few days we’ve had some degree of stabilisation in sales volume,” CEO Axel Heitmann said, responding to questions after a speech in Frankfurt.
“Despite a negative news flow including a rise in unemployment, we are seeing a number of things that are having a positive effect,” Heitmann said, citing interest rate cuts, a continued decline in energy and raw material costs and government stimulus packages.
Spun off from Bayer BAYG.DE four years ago, Lanxess is facing “the biggest challenge so far” in its corporate history”, Heitmann said last week, when the company posted a worse than expected fourth-quarter loss.
Core operating profit in the traditionally strong first quarter would at best match the last three months of 2008, the maker of rubber chemicals and ingredients for drugs and insecticides also said at the time. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger)