- Sales grow by 2% to €6,888 million through higher volumes
- EBIT before special items rises considerably due to stronger margins and specialties business
The Performance Materials division raised its sales to third parties by €141 million to €6,888 million in 2016. This was largely thanks to sharp volumes growth, primarily in Asia and Europe. Prices fell as a result of lower raw material prices. Negative currency effects and portfolio measures additionally dampened sales.
Our businesses with the automotive industry developed positively thanks to significantly higher demand in Asia. We were especially able to achieve substantial volumes growth for polyurethane systems, engineering plastics and the special elastomer Cellasto®.
In the consumer goods industry, sales were slightly down, primarily on account of lower prices while volumes remained stable. We particularly achieved higher volumes of engineering plastics, thermoplastic polyurethanes and biopolymers, while demand ebbed slightly for polyurethane systems.
Sales to the construction sector also declined as a result of falling prices and the divestiture of our white expandable polystyrene (EPS) business in North and South America in March 2015. Volumes development was positive for polyurethane systems and functional foams.
EBIT before special items considerably exceeded that of the previous year. Contributing significantly to this were higher margins due to lower raw material prices and the positive development of our high-margin specialties business. Despite higher production costs from new plant startups, including the capacity expansion for Cellasto® in Shanghai, China, we were able to reduce fixed costs compared with 2015.