- Sales grow by €53 million to €4,121 million through positive currency effects
- Higher margins lead to significant earnings increase
In the Performance Chemicals division, sales to third parties rose by €53 million to €4,121 million compared with 2014. This was mainly the result of positive currency effects with lower volumes and prices (volumes –3%, prices –2%, portfolio –2%, currencies 8%).
In all regions except Europe, we achieved considerable sales growth, which was supported to a large extent by our business with plastic additives. Sales volumes were in total slightly below 2014 levels. This is mostly attributable to the unscheduled shutdown of a polyisobutene plant in Antwerp, Belgium, as well as the significant, oil-price-related decrease in demand for oilfield chemicals. We also posted a volumes decline in the portion of our paper chemicals business that has been allocated to the division since 2015. Our sales prices fell particularly as a result of a drop in raw material costs. In addition, sales were weighed down by the disposal of our textile chemicals business at the end of June 2015.
Income from operations before special items rose considerably compared with 2014. Higher margins in almost every business area were able to more than offset a currency-driven rise in fixed costs.
Special income arose from the sale of our textile chemicals business. Special charges came in part from measures to restructure our businesses with water, oilfield, mining, and paper chemicals.