- Sales up by €427 million to €6,135 million through increase in sales volumes
- Considerable increase in earnings due in part to higher volumes in mobile emissions catalysts
We raised sales to third parties by €427 million to €6,135 million in the Catalysts division in 2014 (volumes 9%, prices −1%, currencies −1%). This was primarily due to sales growth for mobile emissions catalysts as well as to the larger, volumes-driven contribution from precious metal trading, which rose by €220 million to €2,575 million.
Because of greater demand for vehicle engines and the introduction of new emissions regulations, sales volumes increased for our mobile emissions catalysts, especially in Europe and Asia. Significant factors here included the stricter Euro 6 emissions regulation that took effect for lightweight passenger cars in Europe as well as the introduction of Euro IV emissions norms for trucks in China. In the United States, Europe and Japan, sales volumes of catalysts for offroad vehicles rose in response to the step-by-step implementation of the Tier 4 emissions regulation. We observed declining volumes in South America as a result of weaker market growth.
Sales rose slightly for chemical catalysts, mainly through price increases. We were also able to raise our sales slightly for refinery catalysts, largely through increased volumes.
Income from operations before special items considerably exceeded the level of the previous year. This was predominantly attributable to the higher sales volumes of mobile emissions catalysts and stronger margins for chemical and refinery catalysts.