Outlook for 2010
- Good business development expected in the fourth quarter of 2010
- Aiming for record sales and earnings in 2010; expect to earn a high premium on our cost of capital and to increase our dividend
- Risks related to future economic developments remain; high debt levels in many countries threaten the stability of the financial and banking system
- Focus on portfolio improvements, restructuring, greater efficiency and product innovations
Opportunities and risks
Despite the economic upturn, risks still remain for a sustained recovery. The high debt level of many countries is threatening the stability of the financial and banking system. The need to trim government spending around the world will have an impact on demand, as will the winding down of national stimulus programs and the end of inventory restocking. Additional risks are primarily associated with
- volatile raw materials and currency markets,
- excess capacities,
- growing geopolitical tensions, and
- protectionism in the form of new trade barriers.
We see opportunities in consistently implementing our strategy and further improving our operational excellence. We will continue to focus on portfolio improvements, restructuring and increasing efficiency as well as on product innovations and expanding our business in growth markets. We will therefore further strengthen our research and development activities.
We still expect the following global economic conditions in 2010:
- Growth of gross domestic product: 3%–4%
- Growth in industrial production: 7%–8%
- Growth in chemical production (excluding pharmaceuticals): 7%–8%
- An average euro/dollar exchange rate of $1.30 per euro
- Average oil price of $75 per barrel in 2010
We anticipate our sales growth in 2010 will outpace global chemical production. Overall, we aim for sales of around €63 billion and income from operations before special items of more than €8 billion. We expect to earn a high premium on our cost of capital.