• Sales increase of 5% to €3,133 million largely driven by higher prices
  • EBIT before special items slightly above the prior-year level due to margin and volumes growth

The Intermediates division increased sales to third parties by €154 million year on year to €3,133 million, primarily due to higher prices. We were able to increase prices, particularly in the acids and polyalcohols business in all regions. Prices for butanediol and derivatives rose as well, especially in Europe and North America. We also increased sales volumes in 2018 – across the entire portfolio in Asia and above all in the amines and butanediol and derivatives businesses in North America. Currency effects had a negative impact on sales.

Intermediates – Factors influencing sales
Chemicals – Intermediates – Factors influencing sales (pie chart)
Intermediates – Sales by region

Location of customer

Chemicals – Intermediates – Sales by region (pie chart)

EBIT before special items rose slightly compared with the previous year as a result of improved margins and volumes growth. This was partly offset by higher fixed costs, mostly from plant shutdowns.

The construction of the new acetylene plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, is progressing according to schedule, with startup planned by the end of 2019.