- Sales rise as a result of positive currency effects, higher sales prices and portfolio measures
- Earnings down owing to special charges from measures to improve competitiveness
- Outlook 2013: portfolio effects lead to decline in sales; significant earnings increase
Construction Chemicals – Sales by region (Location of customer)Enlarge image
We increased sales to third parties in the Construction Chemicals division by €134 million to €2,315 million in 2012. This was primarily attributable to positive currency effects (volumes –1%, prices 2%, portfolio 1%, currencies 4%).
Business varied widely from region to region: In North America, we were able to significantly raise our sales thanks to improved market conditions. We considerably increased sales in northern Europe, as well, as a result of the strong construction sector. By contrast, we posted declining demand for our products in the key German and French markets. The construction industry’s situation continued to worsen in southern Europe; our sales therefore declined significantly. In the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia, we increased our sales thanks in part to positive development in construction activity. Sales rose considerably in China due to the acquisition of Ji’Ning Hock Mining & Engineering Equipment Company Ltd. in 2011. With improved market conditions, we also raised sales volumes in Japan.
Income from operations was below the level of the previous year. This decline was largely the result of high special charges from measures to improve our competitiveness. Improved margins and strict fixed-cost management were unable to compensate for these one-time effects.
We expect the following developments in our key markets in 2013: In North America, the construction industry will grow moderately. We anticipate continued robust growth in the construction industry in Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the emerging markets of Asia. We assume construction activity will be weak in central Europe; the market situation in southern Europe will probably not improve, either. Our sales will likely decrease in 2013 due to portfolio effects. After high special charges in 2012, we strive to significantly increase our earnings.