Albemarle Resolves To Reduce Costs, Conserve Cash and Reposition For 2009

Albemarle Corp., a provider of innovative solutions to the specialty chemicals market, updated investors and security analysts Dec. 19 on Albemarle's current view of how the global economic crisis will factor into the company's 2009 business strategies.

Chairman and CEO Mark Rohr discussed steps Albemarle is taking to respond to volatile market conditions as well as the company's performance expectations for next year.

While the economic slowdown is felt across the business portfolio, the recent downturn in consumer demand has had a severe impact on volumes and profitability of Albemarle's polymer additives business. This segment supplies products to the electronics, auto and construction markets. The company expects 2009 to be a challenging year in this segment until consumer markets rebound.

"Given the challenges of the global economic environment that has worsened in recent months, we are taking a number of proactive measures to position the company to better manage the market volatility we are seeing as well as position ourselves to be opportunistic," said Rohr.

Albemarle aims to achieve $40 million in annualized cost savings next year by accelerating cost reduction programs and resizing its business footprint. The company is keenly focused on maximizing cash flow through working capital reductions and prudent capital spending.

"Our core business principles and long-term fundamentals are stronger than ever," said Rohr. "I can assure you that this team is more driven and committed to emerge as an even stronger company and exceed the expectations of our shareholders."

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