February 13, 2020 / 8:53 AM / in 12 days

BRIEF-Clariant Sees “More Limited Growth Opportunities” In 2020

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Clariant AG:

* CHAIRMAN EXPECTS "MORE LIMITED GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES" IN 2020 GIVEN SLUGGISH ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

* CHAIRMAN SAYS WORKFORCE REDUCTIONS DO NOT INCLUDE CLOSING LOCATIONS, SEPARATE PROGRAM MAY INCLUDE CLOSURE OF A SITE BUT THAT IS A SEPARATE CONSIDERATION

* CLARIANT SAYS CO HAS NOT SEEN ANY DIRECT CONSEQUENCES OF CORONAVIRUS ON SUPPLY CHAIN, THERE COULD BE EFFECTS IF DISEASE OUTBREAK CONTINUES

* CLARIANT SAYS CORONAVIRUS IMPACTS ON BUSINESS WILL BE IN Q1, EXPECTS TO COMPENSATE FOR THAT IN REMAINDER OF YEAR

* CHAIRMAN SAYS ALL OPTIONS FOR M&A ARE OPEN: BOLT-ON ACQUISITIONS, TRANSFORMATIONAL DEALS OR MERGERS REMAIN POSSIBILITIES

* CHAIRMAN SAYS PREPARED TO BE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AS LONG AS NECESSARY, BUT IT IS NOT HIS PLAN TO STAY FOR THE NEXT 2-3 YEARS AS EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN

* CFO SAYS DELEVERAGING BALANCE SHEET WITH PROCEEDS FROM SALE OF UNITS LEAVES BUSINESS IN GOOD POSITION TO RESUME GROWTH AFTER 2021, THROUGH ORGANIC GROWTH OR ACQUISITIONS

* CFO SEES CARE CHEMICALS IN 2020 BEING MAIN DRIVER OF PROFITABILITY IMPROVEMENT AFTER 2019 WAS "NOT THE BEST YEAR"

* CFO SAYS AUTOMOTIVE, ELECTRONIC INDUSTRY CUSTOMERS HAVE NOT REACHED TROUGH, WILL DETERIORATE IN 2020

* CFO SAYS PROCEEDS FROM PIGMENTS BUSINESS SALE WILL BE USED TO REDUCE DEBT Further company coverage: (Reporting by John Miller and Berlin Speed Desk)

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