Companies headquartered in the Asia Pacific region increased sales by 5% to €13,916 million in 2012. Sales volumes rose despite the difficult business environment; we recorded high demand in the Chemicals and Agricultural Solutions segments in particular. Positive currency effects boosted sales growth, while lower prices reduced sales. In local-currency terms, sales declined by 3%.
Income from operations fell by 20% to €905 million. This was mostly due to weaker margins in the Chemicals segment.
In line with the “We create chemistry” strategy, we strive to grow on average two percentage points faster than the Asia Pacific chemical market each year. For this, a strong market and customer orientation is indispensable. This is why we established three additional industry teams in 2012: Food & Agriculture; Electronic & Electric; and Mining. We achieved double-digit sales growth with the Asian automotive industry in 2012 thanks to the close cooperation between our Automotive Industry Team and key customers. An important step toward the internationalization of our research and development activities is the Innovation Campus Asia Pacific, which we opened in November 2012 in Shanghai, China. Furthermore, we are continuing to optimize our cost structures.