Engineering News

Rhodia says Hurricane Katrina, Swiss floods to hit H2
Tue Sep 13, 2005 03:47 AM ET

PARIS, Sept 13 (Reuters) - French chemicals firm Rhodia issued a warning on Tuesday that Hurricane Katrina and recent floods in Switzerland would force it to miss market forecasts for its core earnings in 2005, hitting its shares.

"These exceptional events will slow down the forecasted growth in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) in the second half," Rhodia said in a statement.

"The full-year 2005 impact of these natural disasters is not expected to exceed a 5 percent shortfall in projected EBITDA," it added.

A Rhodia spokeswoman said the projected EBITDA referred to a market consensus forecast of "slightly below 600 million euros".

Katrina and the Swiss floods would have a combined 25 million euro ($30.8 million) cash impact, she said, adding that underlying performance was unaffected.

The warning over analysts' consensus forecasts caused Rhodia shares to fall as much as 5.8 percent to an intraday low of 1.46 euros. The stock was down 3.9 percent at 1.49 euros by 0745 GMT.

Rhodia said a plant in Switzerland suffered severe damage after heavy flooding there in late August, while its clients in Louisiana were suffering from Hurricane Katrina.

Rhodia was spun off from Rhone-Poulenc in 1998 and the indebted firm is recovering after an ill-fated expansion move caused a slump in its fortunes several years ago.

Rhodia said it was maintaining its 2006 targets of a return to net profit, a recurring EBITDA margin of at least 13 percent and a 3.5 ratio for consolidated net debt to EBITDA.

Source: Reuters

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