Dipping profits force Clariant to lay off 600  

The Swiss speciality chemicals company experienced a dip in profits from 356 million francs to 38 million francs. 

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Clariant, the Swiss specialty chemicals company, will be laying off 600 employees following a dip in profits in 2019. With this move, the Company hopes to reduce costs by 50 million Swiss francs annually, that is, about $51 million, and increase profits over a period of two years. With stagnant sales and demand falling in all the divisions of the Company, Clariant’s net profit last year had fallen to 38 million francs, from 356 million francs in 2018. Sales also fell from 4.4 billion to 4.39 billion francs.

The Company is now getting reorganised after experiencing a lot of disturbance. It will focus mainly on catalysis chemicals, ingredients for soaps and shampoos, and products for the oil and gas industry, which are businesses expected to grow at a much faster pace.

With its chief financial officer moving out, a new CFO has taken over this week. The Company’s CEO, who quit last year, is yet to be replaced.  Presently, the chairman is handling the role, and will probably continue till the right candidate is found to become CEO.

Ernesto Occhiello, CEO, Clariant, had quit in the middle of last year, just before the Company’s joint venture with Saudi Basic Industries, its biggest shareholder with a 25 per cent stake, fell through.

Clariant will be trying to revive the sale of its pigments unit, which is expected to bring in about 900 million francs.

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