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Solvay forecasts depreciation of 1.5 billion euros due to lower sales

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Belgian chemical group Solvay is visible at its head office in Brussels, Belgium, on July 29, 2015. REUTERS / Francois Lenoir / File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian chemical group Solvay (SOLB.BR) is expected to be depreciated by 1.5 billion euros (1.3 billion), with sales expected to drop by around 20% in the second quarter due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a announced Wednesday.

The company said challenges increased during the April-June period from the first three months of 2020, with sales down 20% in April and May and a similar trend in demand seen in June.

Solvay, whose products range from basic chemicals such as sodium carbonate to specialty polymers, said its oil and gas, automotive and aerospace businesses were the hardest hit, with revenues down about 40%.

Construction and mining activities fell about 20%, but the health, agri-food, home and personal care and electronics markets held up well.

Solvay shares fell 3.4% at the start of the session, which makes it one of the weakest performances in the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of the main European stocks. The index itself was down 0.6%.

About 80% of the non-cash impairment would be related to goodwill resulting from Solvay’s purchase of $ 5.5 billion in 2015 from Cytec, an American specialist in aerospace materials and mining chemicals.

Solvay said it would conclude its analysis and provide further details with its first half results on July 29.

Philip Blenkinsop’s report; Editing by Jan Harvey

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