- Sales in all regions and product lines sharply increase due to higher sales volumes and positive currency effects
- Earnings far above the level of the previous year
- Continuous expansion of our system house network
- Outlook 2011: slight sales and earnings growth
Polyurethanes – Sales by region
(location of customer)
Our sales to third parties were €5,441 million, exceeding the previous year’s level by €1,318 million (volumes 24%, prices 1%, currencies 7%). We posted strong sales growth in all product lines and all regions in 2010 due to higher sales volumes as well as positive currency effects.
Demand from key customer industries, such as automotive and construction, recovered faster than expected, especially in Asia and Europe. Thanks to the strong economic upturn in China, demand for polyurethanes increased considerably compared with the previous year, particularly in Asia.
However, we only marginally increased our sales prices in 2010. It was not until the middle of the year that we were able to gradually raise MDI prices as a result of supply shortages.
Our margins – in particular for MDI and TDI – did not match the 2009 level as a result of the sharp rise in raw materials prices at the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, income from operations was far above the 2009 level due to higher volumes. In particular, earnings in our specialties business developed positively, as a result of high demand from the automotive sector.
As a leading supplier of polyurethane solutions, we are continuously expanding our global network of system houses. We now have 38 system houses that offer fast local support in the development of individual solutions as well as technical service for our customers in numerous major industries. Our location in Śrem, Poland, started operations in October 2010. Another system house will open in Dubai in 2011. Furthermore, we are planning to construct two polyurethane system houses in Chongqing in Western China and Tianjin in Northern China.
In 2011, we expect the market environment to remain unchanged. We anticipate that our sales and earnings will slightly exceed the level of the previous year.