- Sales rise slightly, driven mainly by volumes
- Sales growth achieved in all regions
- Earnings improve significantly thanks to higher sales volumes
Performance Materials – Sales by region (Location of customer)Enlarge image
In the Performance Materials division, sales to third parties in 2013 rose by €292 million to €6,497 million (volumes 7%, prices 1%, currencies –3%). Boosted by volumes, we raised our sales in all regions. Price levels were largely stable overall. Sales development was reduced by negative currency effects, particularly in South America and Asia.
Despite significantly reduced growth in the automotive industry compared with 2012, our businesses with polyurethane systems, engineering plastics and specialties for the automotive sector developed successfully. In a market environment that remained difficult, we benefited in Europe from our project business as well as from the high level of exports by premium manufacturers. We saw increased demand in North America.
Growth in Europe’s construction sector remained negative. Nevertheless, we raised our sales of polyurethane systems for the construction industry in the region. In the other regions, our sales to the construction industry increased in a growing market.
We significantly improved income from operations before special items compared with the previous year. This was mainly the result of higher volumes.
We successfully concluded the restructuring of our business with Styropor® in Asia in 2013. Furthermore, we expanded and bundled our production capacity for polyurethane systems and specialties in South America at the site in Guaratinguetá, Brazil.