- Sales slightly below 2012 level as a result of currency effects
- Sales volumes increase, especially in water treatment, oilfield and mining chemicals, and fuel and lubricant additives business areas
- Earnings decline slightly, largely owing to negative currency effects
Performance Chemicals – Sales by region (Location of customer)Enlarge image
Sales to third parties in the Performance Chemicals division decreased by €48 million to €3,576 million compared with 2012. This was largely due to the depreciation of important currencies relative to the euro (volumes 2%, prices 0%, currencies –3%). We observed a slight rise in demand. In China and Europe, economic growth was slower than we had anticipated. Nevertheless, we were able to increase sales volumes, particularly in the business areas for water treatment, oilfield and mining chemicals, and fuel and lubricant additives.
Income from operations before special items was slightly down compared with the previous year. This is mostly attributable to the negative currency effects, which were particularly detrimental to our business with plastic additives. The previous year had also included insurance payments received for damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In 2013, special charges arose from restructuring measures, such as the even closer orientation of our plastic additives and water treatment chemicals businesses toward the changing needs of the market. Measures taken included the optimization of individual sites and of our portfolio as well as the realignment of the polyacrylamide value chain. In the future, we will group the pigments business of the plastic additives business area into the Dispersions & Pigments division.
In 2013, we began operations at a plastic additives plant in Singapore, further increasing our proximity to customers in this growing region. In addition, we started the production of customer-specific antioxidant formulations in Bahrain, thus meeting increasing demand from important customer sectors like the automotive industry.