Nutrition & Health
- Sales decrease by €59 million to €2,029 million due to lower volumes and negative currency effects
- Earnings improve slightly partly as a result of portfolio measures
Compared with the 2013 level, sales in the Nutrition & Health division were down by €59 million in a challenging market environment, amounting to €2,029 million (volumes −2%, prices 0%, portfolio 1%, currencies −2%).
With demand largely stable, sales volumes matched prior-year levels in the human and animal nutrition business as well as in the flavor and fragrance business. Volumes fell in the pharmaceutical business area. This was largely due to competitors entering the market for highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. The successful development of the rest of the pharmaceuticals business partly counteracted this decline in sales volumes. We were able to offset competition-related declines in vitamin E prices by raising prices in the other business areas.
Despite lower sales volumes and negative currency effects, we slightly increased income from operations before special items. Portfolio measures as part of a divisional reorganization were major factors supporting this development. This enabled us to improve our margins and keep our fixed costs at prior-year levels despite negative currency effects and investment preparations. Special charges arose predominantly in connection with measures to increase our competitiveness.
We began the construction of an integrated production complex for flavors and fragrances in Kuantan, Malaysia, in April 2014 – a joint project with our partner PETRONAS. With this investment, we are building up both our production network and our competitive strength in the region.