• Sales decline 3% to €3,856 million as a result of negative currency effects
  • EBIT before special items considerably below prior-year figure, mainly due to higher fixed costs and lower margins

Sales to third parties in the Coatings division declined by €113 million to €3,856 million in 2018. This was attributable to negative currency effects in all regions, especially in South America. Sales were positively impacted by higher volumes and prices.

Despite slightly higher volumes, particularly in Asia and North America, sales of automotive OEM coatings declined due to negative currency effects in all regions. We recorded sales growth in the automotive refinish coatings business as negative currency effects were more than offset by higher sales volumes in Asia, North America and Europe, and higher prices. Sales in the decorative paints business in Brazil were considerably below the prior-year figure, with significantly higher sales prices unable to compensate for strongly negative currency effects and slightly weaker demand. We increased sales in the surface treatments business. Higher sales volumes in all regions compensated for negative currency effects.

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 declined considerably. This was mainly due to higher fixed costs, largely as a result of higher personnel costs and integration costs for the Chemetall business, as well as lower margins from the increase in raw materials prices.

In September 2018, we opened a new laboratory for automotive OEM coatings in Münster, Germany, with a focus on optimized, digital and transparent processes as well as using resources efficiently.