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Feb. 25, 2021, 1:52 a.m. EST

Arkema profit, sales fall due to pandemic

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By Joshua Stein

Arkema said Thursday that net profit and sales for the fourth quarter of 2020 fell due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and that it expects earnings growth in the specialty materials segment this year.

The French chemicals company posted a net profit for the quarter of 43 million euros ($52.3 million), down from EUR75 million for the same period in 2019.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization decreased to EUR289 million from EUR295 million.

The Ebitda margin for the quarter increased slightly on year to 14.6% from 14.4%, due to good resilience at the specialty materials segment, which the group is increasingly focusing on, the company said.

Sales fell to EUR1.99 billion from EUR2.05 billion on year, but rebounded from the third quarter, Arkema said.

For 2020, the company will propose a dividend of EUR2.50 a share to be paid in cash.

Looking ahead, Arkema expects Ebitda in the first quarter to increase by around 10% on year due to the increase in global demand.

In 2021, Arkema's Ebitda growth should mostly take place in the specialty materials segment, which made up 82% of the group's sales in 2020, the company said.

Write to Joshua Stein at joshua.stein@wsj.com

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