Dispersions & Pigments
- Sales above level of previous year due to higher volumes and currency effects
- Earnings decline as a result of higher fixed costs
- Outlook 2013: sales growth thanks in part to higher demand from Asia Pacific and North America; earnings increase
Dispersions & Pigments – Sales by region (Location of customer)Enlarge image
Our sales to third parties rose by €168 million compared with the previous year to reach €3,677 million, mostly driven by currency effects (volumes 2%, prices –1%, currencies 4%). While demand in North America was high and sales volumes recovered considerably in Asia Pacific in the second half of the year, volumes declined in Europe, especially in pigments.
In the dispersions business area, sales were at the level of the previous year. Strong demand in the Asia Pacific region as well as positive currency effects compensated for the pressure on volumes and prices in Europe, which increased over the course of the year. In pigments, however, sales fell as a result of lower demand in Asia Pacific in the first half of the year as well as weaker demand in Europe throughout the year. The divestiture of our offset printing inks business (IMEX) also reduced sales growth. In resins and additives, we benefited from greater demand.
Income from operations was below the level of 2011. Fixed costs grew, especially in pigments, owing to currency effects and lower capacity utilization.
We expect demand for our products to continue to grow in 2013, particularly in Asia Pacific and North America. In Europe, however, we do not anticipate a recovery in demand. We aim to increase sales overall. We also strive to raise our earnings level. Our site optimization measures and the continued restructuring of our pigments business area will contribute to this.