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SOLVAY GROUP - SECOND QUARTER & FIRST HALF 2017 FINANCIAL REPORT
(GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) -- Copyright (C) 2017 GLOBE NEWSWIRE. All rights reserved.

Brussels, August 1, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS


- Volume growth contributes to strong EBITDA performance and a record EBITDA margin

- Sustained cash generation, with free cash flow from continuing operations at EUR85 million

- Full year 2017 EBITDA outlook raised to high single-digit growth


Second quarter 2017 results

Net sales totaled EUR3.0 billion, up 11%, with 8.1% from volume and mix, and 2.8% from price.

Underlying EBITDA grew 18% to EUR705 million, mostly driven by volume growth across each operating segment. This included a one-time EUR38 million synergy benefit on post-retirement obligations. Overall, the EBITDA margin reached a record 23%. Operational excellence measures partly offset higher fixed costs.

- Advanced Materials: EUR356 million, up 22% year on year with strong volume growth in automotive and improvement in aerospace composites; both are benefiting from sustainable mobility drivers.

- Advanced Formulations: EUR130 million, up 5% year on year due to an improvement in oil & gas and continued growth in agro.

- Performance Chemicals: EUR190 million, up 1% year on year supported by the Sadara HPPO contract.

- Functional Polymers: EUR82 million, up 57% year on year driven by robust net pricing and continued automotive demand.

- Corporate & Business Services: EUR(53) million versus EUR(58) million in the second quarter of 2016.

Profit attributable to Solvay share on an IFRS basis was EUR378 million. On an underlying basis it was EUR309 million, up 38% from EUR223 million in 2016, reflecting higher earnings and lower financial charges.

Free cash flow from continuing operations was EUR85 million.

First half 2017 results

Net sales totaled EUR6.0 billion, up 11%, fueled by volume growth and aided by positive currency effects and price increases.

Underlying EBITDA grew 15% to EUR1,321 million, reflecting volume growth across each of the operating segments and the EUR38 million one-time gain. Operational excellence measures more than offset variable net pricing headwinds, while one-time gains mitigated increased fixed costs. The underlying EBITDA margin grew 0.8 percentage points to 22%.

Profit attributable to Solvay share on an IFRS basis was EUR613 million. On an underlying basis it grew 36% to EUR565 million, reflecting higher earnings and lower financial charges.

Free cash flow from continuing operations doubled to EUR245 million, from EUR123 million in the same period in 2016.

Underlying net debt1 decreased to EUR(5.7) billion from EUR(6.6) billion at the start of the year, following the completion of divestments, such as Acetow. Net debt on an IFRS basis was EUR(3.5) billion.

CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu's comment

"In the second quarter, we continued to deliver volume growth across all segments, which contributed to strong earnings and cash generation. Our delivery is consistent with our mid-term financial and extra-financial objectives. Solvay's strategic transformation progressed with further portfolio upgrades."

2017 Outlook2

Based on its strong first half 2017 results, Solvay raises its full year outlook for underlying EBITDA, which it expects to grow by high single-digits. Solvay expects to generate more than EUR800 million of free cash flow from continuing operations.

1 Underlying net debt includes the perpetual hybrid bonds, accounted for as equity under IFRS.

2 Outlook based on constant scope and foreign exchange.

Forenote

Following the announcements in late 2016 of plans to divest the Acetow and Vinythai businesses, these have been reclassified as discontinued operations and as assets held for sale. For comparative purposes, the second quarter and first half year of 2016 income statement has been restated. The Vinythai transaction was completed end of February 2017 and the Acetow transaction end of May 2017.

Besides IFRS accounts, Solvay also presents underlying Income Statement performance indicators to provide a more consistent and comparable indication of the Group's financial performance. The underlying performance indicators adjust IFRS figures for the non-cash Purchase Price Allocation (PPA) accounting impacts related to acquisitions, for the coupons of perpetual hybrid bonds, classified as equity under IFRS but treated as debt in the underlying statements, and for other elements that would distort the analysis of the Group's underlying performance. The comments on the results made on pages 2 to 11 are on an underlying basis, unless otherwise stated.

For more information, please take a look at our Investors website

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Solvay is a multi-specialty chemical company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers in diverse global end markets. Its products and solutions are used in planes, cars, smart and medical devices, batteries, in mineral and oil extraction, among many other applications promoting sustainability. Its lightweighting materials enhance cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 27,000 employees in 58 countries. Pro forma net sales were EUR 10.9 billion in 2016, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world's top 3 leaders. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR) and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level-1 ADR program.

This announcement is distributed by Nasdaq Corporate Solutions on behalf of Nasdaq Corporate Solutions clients.

The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.

Source: Solvay S.A. via Globenewswire

To read the full report in PDF - http://hugin.info/133981/R/2124530/810699.pdf


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