Press releases

The CIECH Group: EBITDA result in the first quarter of 2023 at a similar level to the previous year despite a weakening macroeconomic environment

In the first quarter of 2023, the CIECH Group generated PLN 217 million of (adj.) EBITDA, representing a five percent decrease compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. At the same time, it was the fifth consecutive quarter when consolidated EBITDA was twice the amount of capital expenditures. The debt of the Group and available cash remained at a safe level. The first quarter of the current year showed a reversal in market trends due to the deteriorating macroeconomic situation, resulting in a decrease in the margin. In the face of economic slowdown, the CIECH Group has a diversified and flexibly managed business portfolio. As assessed by the company, the (adj.) EBITDA result for 2023 may amount to PLN 860-920 million, entailing the achievement of the strategic goals for the years 2022-2024.


  • Consolidated revenues of the CIECH Group in the first quarter of 2023 reached a record of PLN 1,730 million, which represents a year-on-year growth of 39 percent and reflects the increase in the cost of raw material prices over the past year. 
  • The (adj.) EBITDA result similar to the previous year, amounting to PLN 217 million compared to PLN 229 million a year earlier.
  • Net profit amounted to PLN 57 million, indicating a decrease of 45 percent compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
  • The implementation of the largest investment programme in the history of the Group (including the construction of a modern evaporated salt plant in Stassfurt, a new furnace for melting vitreous sodium silicate, and an increasing scale of product registrations in the Agro segment) resulted in an increase in depreciation of approx. PLN 22 million year-on-year, which affected the level of operating profit.
  • The net debt to EBITDA ratio remains at a safe level of 1.5 (calculated for the purposes of credit covenants prior to the implementation of IFRS 16).
  • After the first quarter, the full-year forecast assumes achieving (adj.) EBITDA of PLN 860-920 million and revenues of PLN 5,950-6,350 million for the entire year 2023. This signifies that the results of the first quarter account for approx. 25 percent of the estimated full-year (adj.) EBITDA outcome.

- The first quarter of 2023 was quite unusual. We achieved record revenues of over PLN 1.7 billion, while maintaining a stable EBITDA and a lower net profit than last year. With unwavering consistency, we are implementing our strategy for the years 2022-2024 and continue our planned actions in all businesses. We have demonstrated great flexibility in the face of rising raw material prices and unfavourable market conditions, which, unlike in previous quarters, put pressure on margin reduction. The increase in salt and silicate production is a positive outcome of the first quarter and reflects the effects of our earlier investments in individual businesses. Each of the six businesses responds to changing market conditions by limiting risks and seizing opportunities, which is why, despite the visible economic slowdown, we are executing our plans - says Dawid Jakubowicz, President of the Management Board of CIECH S.A.


On the soda ash and sodium bicarbonate market, the year-on-year increase in raw material prices was reflected in rising product prices and revenues. Soda prices in Western Europe continued to rise until reaching their peak level in January. The relatively high price level attracted exporters from other regions, which, combined with the decline in the raw material market and weakening demand, translated into the reduction of soda prices observed since February.


The lower demand for soda, particularly from flat glass manufacturers (with a 14 percent year-on-year production decline in Poland in the first quarter of 2023 according to the Central Statistical Office data), resulted in a 20 percent year-on-year decrease in soda sales volume in the first quarter of 2023.


At the same time, the Soda segment generated a record-breaking revenue level, 67 percent increase in year-on-year revenues. This is primarily the result of favourable sales of electricity from the power plant in Stassfurt, Germany (revenue of PLN 381 million in the previous quarter, nearly three times more than in 2022).


Revenues from the sale of salt have almost doubled (an increase of 94 percent year-on-year) thanks to the gradual improvement in the production capacity utilisation (the new salt works in Stassfurt) and price increases throughout 2022.


The Agro business is facing significant pressure from weakening demand due to the decline in the profitability of agricultural production, high stocks of plant protection products after last year's droughts and this year's cold spring. 


In addition, the products sold in the first quarter were manufactured in the period of high raw materials prices, which affected the margin level. This resulted in a decrease in EBITDA.


Currently, the activities of the Agro business focus on geographical diversification to mitigate the impact of unfavourable weather conditions, innovative formulations, as well as further digitisation and intensive marketing activities. The breakthrough herbicide HALVETIC® has the potential to be registered in 18 European markets this year. Currently, users in countries such as Italy, Slovakia, Romania, Greece, Portugal, Bulgaria, Czechia and Spain are already able to benefit from it. This year, the product is also being registered in Estonia, Germany and the United Kingdom.


In the first quarter of 2023, the Foams segment operated in the conditions of increased availability of raw materials (TDI, polyols) and, at the same time, intensified competition and foam supply on the market. This was due to a slowdown in the renovation and construction industry and as a result of lower demand for upholstered furniture. CIECH's foam producer from Bydgoszcz maintains its leading position among domestic manufacturers in a highly competitive market.


The Silicates segment saw the effects of the investment in a new furnace, commissioned at the end of 2021. This investment resulted in a 30-percent increase in the Group's production capacity in this area. The successful commercialisation of the elevated production led to double-digit increases in revenues and EBITDA. The use of pricing formulas based on raw material prices made it possible to maintain a high margin. The segment's revenues experienced an increase of 54 percent year-on-year year and amounted to PLN 134 million, while EBITDA almost tripled to PLN 25 million.


The Packaging business generated a 78 percent growth in revenue, driven by rising gas prices reflected in product prices. Simultaneously, through production process optimisation, the business increased its margin to 25 percent, compared to that of 13 percent in the first quarter of 2022. The segment was affected by high gas prices and limitations on the ability to increase lantern prices. However, the business had an exceptionally good start to the year, and thanks to efforts invested in improving operational efficiency, it generated PLN 8 million in EBITDA in the first quarter.


Distribution of profit for 2022


On 22 June, the General Meeting of Shareholders will continue deliberations on the distribution of profits for 2022. The recommendation of the Management Board of CIECH S.A. is to set the payout at the level of the December interim dividend (over PLN 79 million) and allocate PLN 533 million to the reserve fund.


“The continuing uncertain economic situation, including high inflation and fluctuations in the raw material market, as well as the unresolved military and political situation in Ukraine, require a prudent approach in preparing the company for unforeseen events” - adds Dawid Jakubowicz.


Perspective for the rest of 2023


In the opinion of the company, in the current environment of the ongoing economic slowdown and weakening demand, the Soda and Foam businesses should remain stable. In the Soda segment, the increasing utilisation of salt production capacity should compensate for the declining sales volumes of soda. An active procurement policy should continue to limit fluctuations in the raw material market. The Agro business may face weaker prospects and a lower full-year result. The emphasis will be  placed on marketing activities and digital sales support, as well as on geographical diversification. Weaker demand for silicates due to reduced production of tires and detergents may impact the performance of the Silicates business. Proactive sales management and flexible pricing adjustments could lead to an improvement in the Packaging business's results throughout 2023.


In a challenging environment and in the face of the implementation of the Group's strategy goals, such as energy transformation, achieving the forecast would be a very good result, and, considering the exceptional nature of 2022 in terms of the generated result, it would sustain CIECH's long-term trend of EBITDA growth. Importantly, the forecast is in line with the target set in our strategy for the year 2024 - says Kamil Majczak, Member of the Management Board of CIECH S.A. (as of 27 May 2023, the President of the Management Board of CIECH S.A.).



Żaneta Przybylska, CIECH Group’s PR Department, tel. +48 511 809 281.


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CIECH is an international developing chemical group with a strong position on global markets. It is the second largest manufacturer of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate in the European Union, the largest manufacturer of evaporated salt in Poland, the largest supplier of sodium silicates in Europe, the largest Polish manufacturer of plant protection products, and a leading producer of polyurethane foams in Poland. Its factories are located in Poland, Germany and Romania, and it employs over 3,000 people throughout the EU. 


Since 2005, CIECH S.A. has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and since 2016, simultaneously, on one of the largest stock exchanges in Europe - Börse Frankfurt. The development of the Group is supported by its strategic investor – Kulczyk Investments.


As one of the largest Polish exporters, CIECH ships its goods to almost each continent. They are used to manufacture products necessary in the everyday life of millions of people around the world. That is why the Group is a crucial element of numerous sectors of the economy – construction, automotive, agriculture, chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries.


CIECH combines a modern business approach and care for sustainable development. Since 2020, it has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact - the world's largest initiative that brings together socially, environmentally and economically responsible businesses.


Since 2021, CIECH has been consistently implementing its ESG Strategy, which includes eight commitments in the field of climate policy, social relations and corporate governance.


More information about the CIECH Group can be found at

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