Kemira Oyj, Europe’s largest supplier of water-treatment chemicals, fell the most in almost a year after reporting lower-than-estimated profit and saying competition has intensified.
Kemira retreated as much as 7 percent to 10.94 euros as of 2:43 p.m. in Helsinki, the most since March 22. Fourth-quarter earnings before interest and taxes fell 2 percent to 33.7 million euros ($45 million), the company said today. Analysts had predicted 38.4 million euros, on average.
Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Buechele is in the midst of a company-wide overhaul, and the former BASF SE executive will announce details of his strategic ambitions for the company in April. The revamp cost the company about 71 million euros in the quarter. Kemira is battling stagnating markets as local governments make cutbacks on municipal water projects.
“Our competitive landscape for Kemira started to change substantially in 2012,” said the CEO.
The loss from its associated companies last quarter came to 5.7 million euros compared with profit of 7.2 million euros a year earlier. Titanium dioxide producer Sachtleben, a joint venture with Rockwood Holdings Inc. of which Kemira owns 39 percent, had lower profit due to a slowdown in demand, falling prices and rising raw-material costs.
Today’s slide in shares makes Kemira among the leading decliners on the Nasdaq OMX Helsinki 25 index. About 285,000 shares traded, a third more than its three-month average.
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