- Sales considerably exceed prior-year level thanks to strong business with automotive and chemical catalysts and higher precious metal prices
- Significant improvement in earnings in a favorable market environment
- Outlook 2012: significant sales and earnings growth from ongoing positive development in automotive and chemical industries and higher prices for base and precious metals
Catalysts – Sales by region
(Location of customer)
Our business benefited in 2011 from the continued upturn in the global automotive industry as well as the considerable recovery in the market for chemical catalysts. Sales to third parties increased by €1,375 million to €6,380 million (volumes 13%, prices 17%, portfolio 1%, currencies –4%). This significant sales growth was supported by rising precious metal prices. For the most part, we were able to pass on higher costs for rare earths to the market.
Our sales volumes of mobile emissions catalysts improved significantly in all regions. While demand for the light duty gas segment in North America and Asia remained consistently strong, the demand for the light and heavy duty diesel segment grew substantially in Europe.
The upswing in the automotive industry positively impacted the performance of our unit Precious and Base Metal Services, whose activities focus mainly on trading. On account of higher precious metal prices, sales rose by €378 million to €2,860 million.
In this favorable market environment, we posted a considerable increase in our income from operations.
We expect our sales to grow significantly once more in 2012. This growth will be driven by the ongoing positive developments in the automotive and chemical industries as well as rising prices for base and precious metals. Our programs to improve operational excellence will continue to contribute to cost reduction and greater efficiency in 2012. We expect earnings to significantly exceed the previous year’s level.