• Says confident can achieve growth in local currencies in 2016
  • Company on track to meet mid-term profit margin target

Clariant AG reported a rise in profit in the fourth quarter on increased demand for catalysts used to improve efficiency in the production of industrial chemicals and plastics.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and one-time items rose 7 percent in local currencies to 229 million Swiss francs ($232 million) in the final three months of 2015, the maker of cosmetic ingredients and pigments said Wednesday in a statement. Analysts had predicted 225.2 million francs.

“Clariant expects the uncertain environment, characterized by a high volatility in commodity prices and currencies, to further deteriorate.,’’ Muttenz, Switzerland-based Clariant said in the statement.

Chief Executive Officer Hariolf Kottmann, who took the helm in 2008, has restructured Clariant by cutting costs, selling off low-margin parts of the business and focusing on high-margin areas. The measures have helped widen Clariant’s annual profit margin to 14.7 percent last year from 12.7 percent in 2010.

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