- Sales slightly below previous year’s level owing to lower sales prices and negative currency effects
- Sales volumes rise, especially for butanediol and its derivatives as well as for polyalcohols and acetylene derivatives
- Earnings nearly match level of 2012
Intermediates – Sales by region (Location of customer)Enlarge image
Sales to third parties in the Intermediates division declined by €31 million to €2,824 million compared with the previous year. Intensified competition in all regions led to falling sales prices overall. Negative currency effects also put a strain on sales development (volumes 5%, prices –4%, currencies –2%).
Butanediol and its derivatives were main drivers for volumes growth, especially in Asia and Europe. Sales volumes also increased in the polyalcohols and acetylene derivatives business area.
We slightly reduced fixed costs compared with the previous year. Income from operations before special items nearly achieved the level of 2012 despite overall higher pressure on margins and lower sales volumes in some high-priced specialties.
We began operations at a tert-Butylamine production plant in Nanjing, China, in 2013. Together with our joint venture partner, Sinopec, we also agreed to jointly construct a neopentyl glycol plant there. We began expanding our capacities for specialty amines in Ludwigshafen. Furthermore, we established Succinity GmbH with Purac Biochem BV in 2013 for the production of bio-based succinic acid. A fermentation plant is currently being modified near Barcelona, Spain; it is scheduled to start up in the first half of 2014 with an annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons of succinic acid.