- Significant improvement in 2010 sales, due mainly to the favorable market environment in the global automotive industry and rising consumption in South America
- Earnings far above previous year’s level
- Sale of our production site in Burago, Italy
- Outlook 2011: slight increase in sales; slight improvement in earnings despite higher raw materials costs
Coatings – Sales by region
(location of customer)
In 2010, sales to third parties at €2,577 million were €414 million higher than in the previous year (volumes 12%, prices 0%, currencies 7%). All product areas worldwide benefited from the overall recovery in demand. The improved market environment for the global automotive industry and rising consumption in South America were key drivers for the significant growth in sales. These developments more than offset the slight decline in sales resulting from the divestitures of industrial coatings businesses in Japan and North America.
Our business with automotive coatings was very successful thanks to the quick recovery of the automotive industry in Asia, especially in China. Sales in the automotive refinish coatings business also grew; the business environment, however, remained competitive. Demand for coatings for transport and agricultural machinery only began to slowly recover in the second half of 2010. In Europe, we benefited from strong demand for coil coatings from the Eastern European steel industry. Sales volumes of coatings for wind turbines stabilized at a high level. Sales of our architectural coatings were higher than in the previous year, particularly in South America. Not only did general consumer demand increase in South America, we also gained additional market share with our product innovations.
Income from operations was far above the 2009 level. Although we expanded our operations, we managed to limit the increase in fixed costs with restructuring projects and to offset the sharp rise in raw materials costs.
After recognizing special charges in 2009, in 2010 we recorded a small amount of positive special income resulting from the sale of our production site in Burago, Italy. This divestiture was part of our portfolio streamlining. In addition, we optimized internal processes.
In 2011, we expect demand from the global automotive industry to grow further and private consumption to increase. Emerging markets will be driving these trends. We therefore expect that sales will increase slightly compared with the 2010 level. We also aim for a slight improvement in income from operations despite expected higher raw materials costs. We will strengthen our presence in the growth regions of Asia and Eastern Europe – particularly in China, India and Russia – and together with our customers, continue to grow in these markets.