Rhodia Turnaround Achieved; Vanillin Boost

Rhodia (Paris) has reported full-year 2006 net income of €62 million, a healthy jump over 2005’s -€616 million. These positive results are the first for the company since 2000. Net sales also rose 6.4%, while operating profit also reached €359 million (2005: €66 million). The company says results were positively impacted by volume growth and price increases related to raw material and energy costs.

Of the results, Rhodia CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu said, “Two-thousand six marks the successful delivery of Rhodia’s recovery plan. We have beaten the ambitious targets that we set three years ago and are pleased to announce the first positive net income since 2000. The Group is stronger, leaner, more agile and focused on businesses in which we enjoy solid leadership positions, with a streamlined organization and rigorous financial discipline.”

Rhodia attributes 80% of sales to “businesses in which it holds strong leadership positions.” To that end, the company will pursue further development in Asia. Rhodia recently announced that it will boost vanillin and ethyl vanillin supplies with the opening of a third Chinese manufacturing site in Zhenjiang. The new diphenol site will, according to the company, employ environmentally responsible production process, including hydroxylation technology.

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