Kemira shares jump sharply on robust Q4 results

Published February 8th, 2018

A recovery in the North American oil & gas business helped Finnish water chemistry giant Kemira generate a 7% fourth-quarter increase in sales to €636.5 million, sending the stock sharply higher this morning.

Tellingly, the company was able to boost its operative EBITDA margin by 100 basis points to 12.7% in Q4, enabling it to post a full-year figure of 12.5% for this key metric. While this still falls short of Kemira’s medium-term goal of generating operative EBITDA equivalent to 14-16% of sales, the prices it is charging its customers are now more than offsetting rising raw materials costs.

The interesting question is whether the short-term trend towards a higher valuation will encourage 16.7% shareholder Solidium to monetise all or part of its stake in Kemira. The Finnish state-owned investment company has raised SEK6.58 billion ($822 million) in the past week alone by selling strategic holdings in Telia and SSAB.