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South America, Africa, Middle East

Compared with 2011, sales for companies in the region rose by 3% to €4,549 million. Sales were 3% above the previous year’s level in local-currency terms, as well.

We were able to increase sales in South America. In the Agricultural Solutions segment, demand continued to grow for our innovative crop protection products. We strengthened our business with engineering plastics and polyamide polymers by purchasing the Mazzaferro Group’s polyamide polymer business in 2012.

Sales decreased for companies in Africa due to the lower contribution from the Catalysts division. After the political unrest in 2011, we were able to significantly increase sales in North Africa in 2012. Sales in the Middle East exceeded the level of the previous year despite the uncertain political situation.

Income from operations in the region declined by 23% to €361 million, predominantly as a result of the lower contribution from the Oil & Gas segment in Argentina.

We have developed a new growth strategy for the Middle East, which we aim to implement starting in 2013. Our local presence in Africa was further expanded as part of our Africa strategy.