- Sales slightly below level of previous year
- Negative currency and portfolio effects nearly offset by higher volumes and prices
- Considerable earnings increase, mostly as a result of higher sales volumes for OEM coatings
Coatings – Sales by region (Location of customer)Enlarge image
Sales to third parties in the Coatings division decreased by €34 million to €2,927 million. Negative currency and portfolio effects were almost fully offset by higher volumes and prices (volumes 4%, prices 2%, portfolio –1%, currencies –6%). Actual development was therefore just under our forecasted sales increase. While we were able to increase sales volumes in Asia and North America, they were stable in both Europe and South America. We raised sales prices in some business areas due to further increases in raw material costs.
Our business with OEM coatings developed very successfully thanks to growing demand in Asia and North America. Automotive refinish coatings saw lower demand in Europe. We were able to offset this decline with increased volumes in Asia as well as higher sales prices in the other regions. In the industrial coatings business, sales development was strained by somewhat weaker demand for coil coatings from the Russian steel industry as well as for coatings for wind turbine rotor blades from the emerging markets. Demand for decorative paints declined slightly in South America, primarily in the premium segment. Sales for the business area were also negatively impacted by currency effects. Higher prices could not fully offset this. Sales decreased in Europe due to the divestiture of our business with Relius® decorative paints.
Income from operations before special items grew considerably, mainly owing to higher sales volumes for OEM coatings. Our fixed costs fell as a result of our programs to increase efficiency as well as currency effects. We were not fully able to pass higher raw material costs – caused in part by negative currency effects in South America – on to the market. Special charges arose from business unit restructuring in Europe as well as the sale of our decorative paints business in Argentina.