Belgium's Solvay hikes 2022 profit forecast after first-quarter beat

  

Solvay SA on Wednesday raised its full-year core profit forecast after the Belgian chemicals group reported higher-than-expected first-quarter earnings, helped by price increases and volume growth.

The group, which makes lithium derivatives for batteries, now expects its full-year underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to grow by mid- to high-single digits, after it had previously forecast mid-single digit percentage growth.

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"The critical and differentiated solutions that we provide to our customers enabled us to increase prices and more than compensate for the sharp cost increases in raw materials and energy," Chief Executive Officer Ilham Kadri said in a statement.

Solvay, which in March suspended its businesses and investments in Russia, said revenue from Russian activities represented less than 1 per cent of the group's sales last year, and that the suspension had little impact.

"We have certainly much more than compensated for that through the growth in our businesses," Chief Financial Officer Karim Hajjar told Reuters.

Asked whether the company was planning to sell all or part of its Russian businesses, Kadri said no decision had been made on that front.

Solvay, which estimates between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of its gas may originate indirectly from Russia, said it was looking at other options, such as switching to alternative fuels.

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