Full year sales and underlying EBITDA grew organically by +5.7% and +5.3% respectively, driven by higher volumes in each operating segment and sustained net pricing. Including adverse forex and scope effects, total underlying EBITDA was stable.
? EBITDA margin sustained at 22%.
Advanced Materials €1,197 million -0.4% +3.1% organically 
? Full year EBITDA grew +3.1% organically, driven by volume growth in automotive, aerospace, and healthcare markets.
? Growth was partially offset by anticipated volume decreases in smart devices, diesel automotive catalysts and insulation markets.
Advanced Formulations €521 million -0.4% +8.1% organically 
? Full year EBITDA grew +8.1% organically, led by strong volume growth in the shale oil & gas stimulation market through the first six months, followed by a significant decline in fourth quarter.
? Pricing power and increased volumes across markets supported growth in the year.
Performance Chemicals €729 million -2.7% +1.6% organically 
? Full year organic EBITDA grew +1.6% as a result of strong performance in peroxides and favorable market conditions in Brazil, supporting volumes and pricing.
? Solid demand and improving soda ash prices limited margin erosion.
Underlying EPS  from continuing operations
? The -17% reduction in net financial charges reflected deleveraging and continued optimization of Solvay’s capital structure.
? Underlying tax rate was -1.4 percentage points lower at 26% for the year.
? Total underlying EPS  of €10.57 increased +16% versus 2017 primarily driven by the reduction in financial charges.
Underlying EBITDA €506 million +2.5% +3.6% organically 
? Fourth quarter sales grew organically by +4.3% driven mainly by pricing. Volume growth in aerospace composites as well as in peroxides was partly offset by the anticipated drop in smart devices as well as the significant decline in the shale oil and gas market. Automotive sales remained supportive but signs of weakening were observed toward the end of the year.
? Fourth quarter underlying EBITDA grew +3.6% organically, with higher prices not fully offsetting an increase in variable costs.
Free cash flow from continuing operations €830 million vs €782 million in 2017
? Strong cash generation in the fourth quarter, leading to total year free cash flow from continued operations of €830 million, up +6.1% vs 2017.
? Free cash flow to Solvay shareholders of €725 million was +56% higher, supported both by the strong cash flow from discontinued operations and by the reduction in financial charges, leading to an operational deleveraging of €353 million of net debt, after dividend payments.
CFROI 6.9% +0.0pp
? CFROI was stable at 6.9%, well in the value creation zone, above WACC of 6.5%.
Dividend recommended €3.75 +4.2%
? Total dividend recommended of €3.75 gross per share. This leads to final gross dividend of €2.31 payable on May 23, 2019, following the payment of the interim gross dividend of €1.44 in January.
CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu: “In 2018 Solvay once again delivered organic EBITDA growth exceeding 5%, thanks to growth in applications for sustainable mobility and resource efficiency. This performance and the Group’s transformation have led us to outperform on all of our financial and extra-financial mid-term targets set in 2016. Underlying EPS grew annually by +13% on average in the same period and free cash flow to shareholders rose from €148 to €725 million.
My mandate as CEO of Solvay will end on March 1 and I am pleased to pass on the baton to Dr. Ilham Kadri, who will begin a new chapter in this company’s extraordinary history, building on the great potential of its teams and portfolio, and taking Solvay to the next level.”
The full financial report is found on: https://www.solvay.com/en/investors/financial-reporting.
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