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Clariant Aims to Boost Revenue in China, India by 2016/2017

Clariant AG, which made its biggest takeover in April, aims to more than double sales in China and increase revenue in India fivefold in about five years, as it follows customers relocating to Asia.

Clariant expects to reach sales of 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.13 billion) in China and 800 million francs in India by 2016/2017, Chief Executive Officer Hariolf Kottmann said today in Singapore. In 2010, revenue in China was 424 million francs, or 6 percent of total sales, and in India it was 205 million francs, or 3 percent of the total, according to Bloomberg data.

“China is one of Asia’s fastest growing markets,” Kottmann said at the opening of the global headquarters of Clariant’s textile additives unit in Singapore. “Over the last five years, Clariant has invested above 200 million Swiss Francs in production facilities in China to support the growth.”

Kottmann has made Asia a central pillar of Clariant’s growth strategy following the 2 billion-euro ($2.7 billion) purchase of catalyst maker Sued-Chemie this year. Expansion in the region contrasts with moves to scale down operations in Switzerland as the company seeks to cut costs, boost competitiveness and follow customers who are relocating to Asia.

“India is another market of excellent growth potential for our company,” Kottmann said.

Clariant expects the textile additives division’s relocation to Singapore from Switzerland to lead to a “significant improvement” in its margin starting in 2013, Mathias Lutgendorf, a member of the company’s executive committee, said at the press event.

Kottmann, approaching his third anniversary as CEO, is working on a companywide review to improve efficiency and the review could lead to disposals of lower-margin businesses such as additives for the leather and textile industries.

Clariant is also relocating paper-chemical production to Spain from its current location in Switzerland. Huntsman Corp. in September announced a restructuring of Swiss textile additive operations, resulting in the planned closure of a site in Basel.

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