- Currency effects lead to €36 million decline in sales to €4,835 million compared with previous year
- Earnings increase slightly through improved margins and higher capacity utilization
Sales to third parties declined by €36 million to €4,835 million in 2014 in the Care Chemicals division. Currency effects, primarily from the Argentinian peso, Brazilian real and Turkish lira, had a negative impact on sales. Volumes matched the level of the previous year. Higher raw material costs resulted in our raising prices, especially for lauric oil-based standard products (volumes 0%, prices 1%, currencies −2%).
Sales volumes dropped considerably in the hygiene business area. In the previous year, we had beneﬁted from temporarily low capacities on the market. In other business – particularly ingredients for personal care products – we increased sales volumes overall, especially in Europe and Asia, despite a market environment that remained difficult.
Despite negative currency effects and the sales volumes decline in the hygiene business, we were able to raise income from operations before special items slightly, thanks in part to improved margins. Our capacity utilization, which once again topped the prior-year level, also had a positive effect. Restructuring measures allowed us to keep fixed costs steady.
In 2014, we began production at a surfactants plant at the site in Dahej, India. Furthermore, we invested in new capacities for superabsorbents in Camaçari, Brazil, as well as in our joint venture BASF-YPC Co. Ltd. in Nanjing, China.