• Sales growth of 11% to €2,979 million due to higher prices and volumes
  • EBIT before special items slightly above the prior-year level due to margin and volumes growth

Sales to third parties in the Intermediates division rose by €298 million year-on-year to €2,979 million. This was mainly due to higher prices, particularly in the butanediol and derivatives as well as the acids and polyalcohols businesses. We were able to raise volumes in all regions in 2017. The amines business in Europe and Asia showed especially strong growth. Negative exchange rate effects and the divestiture of the inorganic specialties business in the first quarter of 2017, which included the site in Evans City, Pennsylvania, slightly dampened sales growth.

Intermediates – Factors influencing sales
Chemicals – Intermediates – Factors influencing sales (pie chart)
Intermediates – Sales by region
(Location of customer)
Chemicals – Intermediates – Sales by region (pie chart)

EBIT before special items in 2017 was up slightly from the previous year: Improved margins and higher sales volumes more than compensated for the rise in fixed costs. The year-on-year increase in fixed costs was primarily due to a higher number of plant maintenance activities, the startup of new production plants in all regions, as well as unplanned repairs.

The construction of the new acetylene plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, is progressing on schedule.