International rating agency Standard & Poor's has upgraded its credit rating for Evonik Industries AG from BB+ to BBB with a stable outlook, giving the company its first investment grade rating.


According to S&P, significant reduction in debt and good operating performance were the main factors in the upgrade. The company's 2010 debt levels settled at €4.7 billion (US$6.8 billion) by year end, down from €6.9 billion (US$10 billion) a year earlier. "This investment grade rating confirms our strategic focus on specialty chemicals with a broadly diversified product and customer portfolio and rewards the significant reduction in debt over the past two years," said Dr. Wolfgang Colberg, chief financial officer of Evonik.