Dispersions & Pigments
- Sales rise by €128 million to €4,629 million, boosted mainly by positive currency effects
- Slight, margin-driven earnings improvement
Sales to third parties in the Dispersions & Pigments division in 2015 rose year-on-year by €128 million to €4,629 million, mainly as a result of currency developments. Prices and volumes fell slightly (volumes –1%, prices –4%, portfolio 1%, currencies 7%).
In the pigments business, an intense competitive environment led to a significant decline in volumes. Sales volumes in the paper chemicals business integrated into our division since 2015 decreased in step with the development of the relevant market. Volumes developed positively in the dispersions business – especially in North America, due to new capacities in Freeport, Texas – and grew slightly overall. The startup of new plants since the fourth quarter of 2014 led to considerable sales growth for resins in all regions. We were also able to raise sales of additives in all regions.
We slightly improved income from operations before special items compared with 2014 through higher margins. Fixed costs rose, especially because of new plant startups in Freeport, Texas, and Dahej, India. Special charges were above the level of the previous year, and were mostly related to restructuring measures.
In January 2016, we combined our pigments activities into a new global business unit (GBU) based in Ludwigshafen, Germany.