In 2010, sales of companies headquartered in Europe grew by 16% compared with the previous year to reach €35,156 million. In the chemicals business, sales at €19,363 million reached the pre-crisis level. Compared with 2009, this was an increase of 32%. This development shows that BASF has emerged from the economic crisis even stronger than before in Europe.
In the Chemicals and Plastics segments, sales were far above the 2009 level thanks to increased volumes and prices in all divisions. In the Performance Products segment, sales grew substantially due in part to the strong demand for our products as well as the full-year inclusion of the former Ciba businesses. In the Functional Solutions segment, there was a strong improvement in sales, especially in the Catalysts division. The Agricultural Solutions segment exceeded its 2009 sales level thanks to higher volumes while the Oil & Gas segment posted a decline in sales owing to lower natural gas prices.
At €5,206 million, income from operations was more than twice as high as in the previous year. This was mainly due to the excellent earnings in the chemicals business, which rose by €2,579 million year-on-year to €3,212 million, thereby also significantly surpassing the pre-crisis level.
In order to take advantage of opportunities in the region and master future challenges, we developed the Strategy 2020 for the region Europe called “More Market – More Value.” This will see the expansion of existing successful approaches based on countries, customers and particularly industries. Our new industry-based initiatives include: agro/food/feed/fuel, clean tech energy and furniture/wood. All these cross-segment initiatives will help us to reach our growth targets in the Europe region in 2020.