- Significant sales growth due mainly to inclusion of Cognis activities
- Substantial volume growth, especially in the pharmaceuticals and animal nutrition business areas
- Earnings below strong prior-year level due in part to special charges
- Outlook 2012: sales increase due to higher sales volumes; significant improvement in earnings
Nutrition & Health – Sales by region (Location of customer)
In the Nutrition & Health division, our sales to third parties increased by €380 million to €1,862 million (volumes 5%, prices –1%, portfolio 23%, currencies –1%). This considerable rise is primarily attributable to the full-year inclusion of the Cognis activities. Demand for our products was high, particularly in the first half of the year. We were able to increase sales volumes in nearly all business areas and regions in 2011. We posted the strongest volume growth in the business areas pharmaceuticals and animal feed. In some product lines, we were unable to keep up with demand because our capacities were already fully utilized, or because of a shortage of key raw materials. The price level for vitamins declined slightly as a result of intense competition. In addition, sales growth was slowed by the weakness of the U.S. dollar.
Despite increasing sales volumes, income from operations did not match the high level of the previous year. This was mainly due to special charges associated with the integration of the acquired Cognis businesses as well as pressure on margins from higher raw material prices and more intense competition.
In 2012, we aim to again post an increase in sales volumes and sales. Growth impetus is likely to come from our human nutrition business, which combines the activities of BASF and the former Cognis, as well as our business with customized pharmaceutical specialties and the scheduled startup of the world’s largest production facility for the aroma chemical L-menthol. With generally stable margins and lower integration expenses, we expect significantly higher earnings than in the previous year.