Performance Materials

  • Sales growth of 12% to €7,706 million mainly due to price developments
  • Considerable decrease in EBIT before special items, primarily as a result of lower margins

The Performance Materials division increased sales to third parties by €818 million to €7,706 million in 2017. This was largely thanks to price increases on the back of a significant rise in raw materials prices. Higher sales volumes to the automotive, consumer goods and construction industries also contributed to sales growth, while currency effects had a negative impact.

There was strong growth in sales to the automotive industry in Europe and Asia in particular thanks to higher prices and greater demand for polyurethane systems and engineering plastics. The increase in sales volumes in North and South America also contributed to the positive sales development.

In the consumer goods industry, sales were likewise up significantly year-on-year, mainly as a result of higher volumes in Asia and Europe. We recorded volumes growth, particularly in our businesses with polyurethane systems, thermoplastic polyurethanes and biopolymers. Significantly higher prices in the polyurethane systems business also had a positive effect.

Sales to the construction sector grew, mainly as a result of the significant increase in sales prices for polyurethane systems and styrene foams in Europe and Asia. Higher volumes in all regions also boosted sales.

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

EBIT before special items was considerably below the prior-year figure. This was mainly attributable to lower margins: The increase in raw materials prices could only be partially offset by the higher sales prices. Earnings were also reduced by higher production costs from the startup of new plants. EBIT before special items in the previous year also included positive one-off effects from insurance payments and the release of provisions.