- Sales grow significantly, mainly due to positive portfolio effects
- Earnings decrease as a result of divestiture of our fertilizer activities
- Outlook 2013: Sales increase thanks to higher volumes in several business areas; earnings at 2012 level
Inorganics – Sales by region
(Location of customer)
In the Inorganics division, our sales to third parties in 2012 increased by €320 million to €1,735 million (volumes 3%, prices 2%, portfolio 15%, currencies 3%). This was mainly due to positive portfolio effects from the divestiture of our fertilizer activities; since then, the supply of ammonia for fertilizer production has been reported as sales to third parties. In addition, increased demand – in particular from the electronics industry – was another major driver for this significant sales growth, along with positive currency effects and higher prices for basic products.
Income from operations declined as a result of the missing earnings contribution from the nitric acid plants sold in the fertilizer activities divestiture. Adjusted for this effect, earnings matched the very good level of the previous year, thanks as much to continuing high margins – especially for ammonia – as to our strict cost discipline.
We expect moderately positive development in the business environment in 2013 and therefore anticipate higher sales volumes in several business areas. We aim to increase our sales, despite increasing pressure on prices. We anticipate earnings comparable with the level of 2012.