The medium-sized global player for specialty chemicals closed the financial year of 2017 with record sales for the fifth year in succession. Even though the expectations could not be fully met due to negative currency effects. With sales of 456 million EUR, the previous year's success in the Group was exceeded by 9%.
The encouraging growth compared to 2016 is mainly due to the acquisition of the ICM Silicones Group, a North American silicone specialist with locations in the USA, UK, Italy and China. With this strategic investment, the CHT Group has more than doubled its existing silicone business and intends to significantly expand it worldwide and gain new market shares.
In addition, business development with the textile industry in Germany, Brazil, India, Mexico and Pakistan made an unexpectedly strong contribution to sales in 2017.
With regard to the result (EBIT), the CHT Group was unable to continue the excellent performance of the previous year in 2017. The Group-wide operating result (EBIT) remained below the expectations, in particular due to significantly higher raw material costs. In mid-2018, the CHT Group records cost increases of over 80% for some raw material groups. By the end of the year, the situation is not expected to improve, but instead further increases in raw material prices are to be anticipated.
“For 2018 we expect a rather moderate growth in sales. Due to increased raw material costs and the shortage of some raw materials, market development has not become easier for us,” says Dr. Frank Naumann, CEO of the CHT Group. "Nevertheless, we have responded to the difficult market conditions and are supplementing and optimising our product portfolio. Purchasing raw materials has become a daunting challenge. As a result, significant price increases in all product ranges and industry segments are unavoidable for us this year".
In addition to acquisitions, investments and above all innovations contribute to attaining our growth objectives. In 2017, the CHT Group continued to invest around 11 million EUR in the expansion of its technologies, in modern production sites and in personnel development.
As part of its 2020 strategy, the CHT Group has set itself the goal of supporting its customers in all markets worldwide as a preferred partner and leading reference for sustainable chemical solutions. In this respect, innovations play a central role. In 2017, the global research and development quota of the CHT Group was 4.1 % (+0.1 % compared to 2016). At the headquarters in Germany with the competence centres and the central research and development department, it was 6.6 % (+0.1 % above 2016).
The CHT Group continues to gain size and attractiveness as an employer. At the end of 2017 the Group had 2,186 employees, about one third of them at the German sites of Tübingen, Dusslingen, Oyten and Geretsried. Through the acquisition of the ICM Silicones Group, the CHT Group grew by almost 200 new employees. New tasks and the worldwide activity make the CHT Group more and more interesting as an employer and keep it on a growth course.