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Lanxess Reduces Outlook and Dividend Amidst German Chemical Slump

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Lanxess AG Faces Challenges as Dividend and Earnings Outlook Slashed

Lanxess AG, the German chemical giant, is grappling with a slump in global demand and high energy prices, leading to a reduction in its dividend and earnings outlook. The company plans to cut its 2023 dividend to 10 cents per share from €1.05 ($1.13) in 2022. Additionally, Lanxess warned that adjusted earnings before interest and taxes for 2023 could be as low as €500 million, below the previous forecast. These developments raise concerns about the company's portfolio quality and cash generation expectations for 2024. The stock has experienced a significant decline, falling 44% this year, with a further 8.2% drop on Monday.

Challenges in the Chemical Industry

Lanxess's struggles reflect broader challenges faced by the chemical industry in Germany. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has led to higher energy costs, prompting energy-intensive companies to scale back production. Weakening demand from China, a shortage of workers, and high interest rates are also impacting factories in Germany. BASF SE, Europe's largest chemical producer, is cutting jobs and reducing output as it adjusts to a future without cheap Russian gas. The closure of energy-intensive facilities, including ammonia plants and fertilizer facilities, is part of BASF's adaptation strategy.

Implications for Lanxess and the Industry

The dividend and earnings outlook cuts by Lanxess highlight the challenging market conditions faced by the company and the broader chemical industry. The impact of global demand fluctuations and rising energy prices necessitates strategic adjustments to maintain profitability. As Lanxess and other companies in the sector navigate these challenges, it remains crucial to find innovative solutions and adapt to the changing landscape to ensure long-term success.

Hot Take: Lanxess AG's Struggles and the Potential Impact on New Businesses in the Chemical Industry

The recent challenges faced by Lanxess AG, a leading German chemical company, present a stark reality for new businesses in the chemical industry. Lanxess's decision to slash its dividend and earnings outlook due to high energy prices and dwindling global demand is a clear indicator of the turbulent market conditions.

The Ripple Effect of Lanxess's Struggles

For startups and new ventures in the chemical industry, Lanxess's struggles serve as a cautionary tale. The company's significant stock decline and the looming concerns about its portfolio quality and cash generation expectations for 2024 could potentially deter investors and affect the overall confidence in the sector.

Adapting to the New Normal

However, amidst these challenges, there lies an opportunity for new businesses to learn and adapt. The current situation necessitates innovative solutions to maintain profitability. Companies must focus on developing energy-efficient processes, diversifying their supply chains, and investing in research and development to stay ahead of the curve. In conclusion, while Lanxess's current predicament paints a grim picture, it also provides valuable insights for new businesses. The key to survival in this challenging landscape lies in the ability to adapt and innovate, ensuring long-term success.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/lanxess-cuts-outlook-dividend-as-german-chemical-slump-bites
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