Atotech Reports Q3 2021 Results, Narrows 2021 Full-Year Guidance Range


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Atotech, a leading specialty chemicals technology company and a market leader in advanced electroplating solutions, reported financial results for the third quarter of 2021. The company maintained its revenue guidance and narrowed the Adjusted EBITDA guidance range for the full year 2021. Chemistry organic revenue growth, a key performance indicator for the Company, increased 6% over the third quarter of 2020. Chemistry organic revenue growth reflects chemistry revenue growth excluding the impact of foreign exchange translation (“FX”) and palladium pass-through (“palladium”).

Management Commentary

Geoff Wild, Atotech’s Chief Executive Officer said, “We are pleased by our strong third quarter performance. Atotech delivered results fully in-line with our expectations and our nine-months results are at record levels, despite the continuing disruption of global supply chains. The strength of demand and the resilience of our business model enables us to feel comfortable reiterating our full-year guidance.

“This quarter, we saw strong demand in our Electronics segment for our semiconductor-related businesses as well as IC-substrates. In our GMF segment, we experienced good demand for construction-related products, partially offset by a slowdown in demand from the automotive OEMs, which was primarily felt towards the end of the quarter. We also observed increasing demand for our sustainability-related products.

“As expected, in Q3 we saw freight costs decline from the first half; however, this improvement was counter-balanced by broad-based inflationary pressure, including raw material price increases. As a result, we have implemented price increases to our customers to mitigate those effects and will be rolling those price increases out over the coming months.”

Third-quarter 2021 Results

Total revenue was $383 million for the third quarter of 2021, an increase of 18% over the prior-year period. Total organic revenue, which reflects total revenue excluding the impact of FX and palladium, increased 10%. Over the quarter, FX provided a 4% tailwind and palladium increased total revenue by a further 4%. These results were supported by organic growth in chemistry revenue of 6%.

Adjusted EBITDA was $112 million for the third quarter of 2021, a 10% increase over the prior-year period, reflecting the chemistry organic volume growth and FX tailwinds, partially offset by increased costs associated with higher raw-material, freight and energy costs.

Diluted earnings per share was $0.10 for the period ended September 30, 2021, and Adjusted EPS was $0.27.

Adjusted EBITDA margin was 29% for the third quarter of 2021. The decline reflects the margin dilution from higher palladium prices as well as broad-based inflation in raw material costs.

Third-quarter 2021 Segment Highlights

Electronics: Revenue for the third quarter of 2021 in our Electronics segment was $254 million, an increase of 23% over the prior-year period. Total organic revenue grew 13%, consisting of 7% chemistry organic growth and a 60% increase in equipment organic revenue. Palladium pass-through increased revenue by 6% and FX was a 4% tailwind for the quarter.

The Electronics organic revenue increase was driven by continued demand for the Company’s advanced semiconductor packaging and IC-substrate solutions. End-market demand for computing applications and automobile electrification continued to gain momentum, but the overall slowdown in the Automobile sector for Electronics was also noticeable. As in prior quarters this year, the global build-out of production capacity for PCBs and semiconductors translated into strong demand for our equipment.

Adjusted EBITDA for our Electronics segment was $84 million for the third quarter of 2021, an 18% increase over the prior-year period, primarily driven by chemistry volume growth. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 33%, a decline of 135 basis points, driven by dilution from higher palladium prices and the product-mix effect from lower gross- margin equipment revenue.

General Metal Finishing: Revenue for the third quarter of 2021 in our GMF segment was $129 million, an increase of 9% over the prior-year period. Total organic GMF revenue increased 5%, consisting of 6% chemistry organic revenue growth and a 29% decline in organic revenue for equipment. Palladium and FX added 1% and 3% to revenue for the quarter, respectively.

Chemistry organic revenue growth was primarily a function of continued recovery from the pandemic-depressed markets of 2020, supported by continued strength in sanitary and construction end-markets as well as sustainability projects. Automotive end-market demand slowed towards the end of the quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA for our GMF segment was $28 million, an 8% decline compared to the prior-year quarter, primarily reflecting broad-based inflation in raw materials.

Full Year 2021 Guidance

Regarding the Company’s 2021 outlook, Peter Frauenknecht, Atotech’s Chief Financial Officer said, “As a result of our solid third quarter, we reiterate our revenue guidance. We continue to expect full year 2021 total organic revenue growth to be in the range of 13% to 14%, including full year organic growth in chemistry revenue of approximately 10%, which excludes the impact of FX and palladium pass-through. Additionally, we now expect full year 2021 adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $440 million to $450 million, which represents a $2.5 million improvement over our prior guidance, at the mid-point.”

MKS Transaction

On July 1, 2021, MKS Instruments, Inc. (“MKS”), a global provider of technologies that enable advanced processes and improve productivity, and Atotech Limited announced that they had entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which MKS will acquire Atotech for $16.20 in cash and 0.0552 of a share of MKS common stock for each Atotech common share (the “MKS Transaction”). The MKS Transaction is to be effected by means of a scheme of arrangement under Article 125 of the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991 (as amended).

The MKS Transaction has been unanimously approved by the MKS and Atotech boards of directors and each of the resolutions put to the Company’s shareholders at the court meeting and the general meeting convened in connection with the MKS Transaction, which were each held on November 3, 2021, were passed by the requisite majority of votes. The closing of the MKS Transaction remains subject to the approval of the Royal Court of Jersey, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2021.

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