Proactive measures to re-phase growth investments and optimize cost structure to generate long-term financial flexibility and unlock >$750 million of cash flow over the near term

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), a global leader in providing essential elements for mobility, energy, connectivity, and health, today outlined a series of proactive measures underway to re-phase its organic growth investments and optimize its cost structure in response to changing end-market conditions, particularly in the lithium value chain. These actions are designed to unlock cash flow over the near term and generate long-term financial flexibility.  

Albemarle Corp. Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Albemarle Corporation)

Albemarle expects its 2024 capital expenditures to be in the range of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion, down from approximately $2.1 billion in 2023. This new level of spending reflects a re-phasing of larger projects in the near term to focus on those that are significantly progressed, near completion and in startup. Decisions made by the company include to:  

  • Commission the Meishan lithium conversion facility, which reached mechanical completion at the end of 2023;  
  • Complete commissioning activities for Trains 1 and 2 at the Kemerton lithium conversion facility and focus construction on Train 3;  
  • Prioritize permitting activities at the Kings Mountain spodumene resource and defer spending at the Richburg mega-flex lithium conversion facility;  
  • Defer investment for the Albemarle Technology Park in North Carolina; and 
  • Limit sustaining capital spending to the most critical health, safety, environmental, and site maintenance projects.  

The company is also pursuing actions to optimize its cost structure, reducing costs by approximately $95 million annually, primarily related to sales, general, and administrative expenses, including a reduction in headcount and lower spending on contracted services. Albemarle expects to realize more than $50 million of these cost savings in 2024 and to pursue additional cash management actions primarily related to working capital.  

"The actions we are taking allow us to advance near-term growth and preserve future opportunities as we navigate the dynamics of our key end-markets," said Albemarle CEO, Kent Masters. "The long-term fundamentals for our business are strong and we remain committed to operating in a safe and sustainable manner. As a market leader, Albemarle has access to world-class resources and industry-leading technology, along with a suite of organic projects to capture growth."  

Related to the actions announced today, Albemarle will record a charge in the first quarter of 2024, primarily associated with severance and related benefit costs, exit and disposal activities, and asset write-downs.  

The company will provide further details on its conference call to announce full-year 2023 results at 9:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, February 15, 2024.  

About Albemarle
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) leads the world in transforming essential resources into critical ingredients for mobility, energy, connectivity, and health. We partner to pioneer new ways to move, power, connect and protect with people and planet in mind. A reliable and high-quality global supply of lithium and bromine allow us to deliver advanced solutions for our customers. Learn more about how the people of Albemarle are enabling a more resilient world at albemarle.com and on X (formerly known as Twitter) @AlbemarleCorp.  

Albemarle regularly posts information to www.albemarle.com, including notification of events, news, financial performance, investor presentations and webcasts, non-GAAP reconciliations, Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filings and other information regarding the company, its businesses and the markets it serves.  

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements concerning our expectations, anticipations and beliefs regarding the future, which constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, which are based on assumptions that we have made as of the date hereof and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, often contain words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "guidance," "intend," "may," "outlook," "should," "would," and "will". Forward-looking statements may include statements regarding expected: capital expenditure amounts; the timing of the startup of the Meishan, China lithium conversion facility; plans and expectations regarding other projects and activities, cost reductions and accounting charges, and all other information relating to matters that are not historical facts. Factors that could cause Albemarle's actual results to differ materially from the outlook expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include: changes in economic and business conditions; financial and operating performance of customers; timing and magnitude of customer orders; fluctuations in lithium market prices; production volume shortfalls; increased competition; changes in product demand; availability and cost of raw materials and energy; technological change and development; fluctuations in foreign currencies; changes in laws and government regulation; regulatory actions, proceedings, claims or litigation; cyber-security breaches, terrorist attacks, industrial accidents or natural disasters; political unrest; changes in inflation or interest rates; volatility in the debt and equity markets; acquisition and divestiture transactions; timing and success of projects; performance of Albemarle's partners in joint ventures and other projects; changes in credit ratings; and the other factors detailed from time to time in the reports Albemarle files with the SEC, including those described under "Risk Factors" in Albemarle's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which are filed with the SEC and available on the investor section of Albemarle's website (investors.albemarle.com) and on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Albemarle assumes no obligation to provide any revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.  

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SOURCE Albemarle Corporation

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