- Sales rise as a result of higher prices and sales volumes
- Earnings below previous year’s level, due mainly to lower margins for TDI
- Continuous expansion of our system house network
- Outlook 2012: increased sales and earnings
Polyurethanes – Sales by region (Location of customer)
Due to higher prices and volumes, our sales to third parties were €5,852 million, exceeding the previous year’s level by €411 million (volumes 5%, prices 5%, currencies –2%). We were able to increase sales in all regions and nearly all product lines.
Demand from key customer sectors, such as the automotive and industrial construction industries, grew sharply in the first half of the year, particularly in Asia and Europe. However, growth began to slow from the middle of the year, especially in the construction industry.
We were able to raise our sales prices for most product lines and thereby largely compensate for higher raw material costs. Nevertheless, due to better availability on the market, prices for TDI decreased.
We successfully expanded our business with specialties, but its earnings were negatively impacted by increased raw material costs. Primarily as a result of lower margins for TDI, income from operations in the Polyurethanes division was below the very good level of the previous year.
In 2011, we began construction of a new, integrated MDI complex with an annual capacity of 400,000 metric tons in Chongqing, China. This investment will allow us to further strengthen our position in the MDI market in one of the growth regions of Western China. The plant is scheduled to start up in 2014.
As the leading supplier of polyurethane solutions, we are continually expanding our global network of system houses. We have 38 system houses that offer complete solutions which range from swift local support in the development of individual solutions to technical service for our customers. Our system house in Dubai began operations in April 2011. Furthermore, we are planning to construct two polyurethane system houses in Chongqing in Western China and Tianjin in Northern China.
In 2012, we anticipate an unchanged market environment. We expect our sales and earnings to exceed the previous year’s level.