• Sales growth of 22% to €3,969 million from Chemetall acquisition and higher volumes
  • EBIT before special items considerably below prior-year figure due to higher fixed costs and lower margins

In the Coatings division, sales to third parties in 2017 grew by €720 million to €3,969 million, mainly as a result of the Chemetall business acquired in December 2016. We increased sales volumes in Asia and Europe in particular. Sales were reduced by negative currency effects, especially in Asia and North America, as well as slightly lower prices.

Sales of automotive OEM coatings increased thanks to higher volumes in all regions. We recorded slight sales growth in the automotive refinish coatings business, as we were able to more than offset the negative currency effects with higher sales volumes and the acquisition of Guangdong Yinfan Chemistry, Jiangmen, China, in September 2016. In the decorative paints business in Brazil, sales were up slightly on the prior-year figure: currency effects and slight price increases had a positive impact, while demand declined slightly.

Coatings – Factors influencing sales
Functional Materials & Solutions – Coatings – Factors influencing sales (bar chart)
Coatings – Sales by region (Location of customer)
Functional Materials & Solutions – Coatings – Sales by region (pie chart)

EBIT before special items in the Coatings division declined considerably. The Chemetall business made a positive contribution to earnings but was unable to compensate for the decline in the businesses not affected by the portfolio measures. The decrease in the latter was mainly due to higher fixed costs and lower margins as a result of the increase in raw materials prices. Special charges arose from the integration of the Chemetall business and the restructuring in connection with the divestiture of the industrial coatings business, which was completed in December 2016 and led to special income in the prior year.

In November 2017, we inaugurated a new large-scale automotive coatings plant at the Caojing site in Shanghai, China, to complement our existing automotive coatings plant there. We also inaugurated a production facility for automotive OEM coatings in Bangpoo, Thailand. With the expansion, we aim to even better serve the growing automobile market in Asia Pacific, especially in China.