- Sales improve by €182 million to €3,166 million, driven mostly by currencies
- Earnings rise slightly, mainly through contribution from automotive OEM coatings
In the Coatings division, sales to third parties grew by €182 million to €3,166 million in 2015, predominantly through positive currency effects. Portfolio effects, along with higher volumes and prices, also contributed to this sales increase (volumes 1%, prices 1%, portfolio 1%, currencies 3%). We raised prices in all business areas. Increased volumes especially in North America and Europe more than compensated for a volumes decline in South America.
Our sales of automotive OEM coatings saw considerable growth, driven both by currency effects and by higher volumes in Europe and North America. For automotive refinish coatings, we were able to more than offset weaker demand in South America and Asia through higher sales prices and positive currency effects. The rise in sales in the industrial coatings business was partly attributable to positive currency effects. Sales fell sharply in the decorative paints business in Brazil, despite increased sales prices. This was predominantly the result of negative currency effects as well as overall weak demand.
We were able to slightly raise income from operations before special items, mostly through the contribution from automotive OEM coatings.
In 2015, we began operations at our new coating resins plant in Shanghai, China, to support our growth in the region with innovative products from local production.