- Sales rise slightly due to higher volumes and currency effects
- Earnings far above previous year’s level
- Measures to increase competitiveness successfully implemented
- Outlook 2011: slight sales growth and strong improvement in earnings
Construction Chemicals – Sales by region
(location of customer)
While raw materials costs declined, sales to third parties increased by €130 million to €2,121 million owing to higher volumes and currency effects (volumes 3%, prices –2%, currencies 6%). Thanks to strong demand, sales grew substantially in China, India, Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. After a considerable decline in sales in 2009, our business in North America and Northern Europe stabilized again in 2010. Our business was robust in the key European markets Germany and France, but sales in Spain fell further.
Income from operations was far above the level of the previous year. In particular, our ongoing measures to increase competitiveness had a positive effect on earnings: In all regions, we have adapted our business models and organizations to market developments, reduced the complexity of our services offered and increased the efficiency of our processes throughout the entire supply chain. These measures resulted in special items, but these had a smaller negative impact on earnings than in the previous year.
We expect the following developments in our important markets in 2011: In North America, Europe and Japan, the construction industry will grow slightly. In contrast, there will be continued strong growth in China’s construction activity. We will make investments accordingly. Overall, we also expect substantial growth in the Middle East, India and South America. For 2011, we aim for slight sales growth in the Construction Chemicals division and a strong improvement in earnings.