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Business trends by region

Sales by Market
  Q1 2011 Q1 2012 Change
  € million % € million % %
EMEA (excluding Germany) 642 31.0 699 29.3 8.9
Germany 398 19.2 416 17.4 4.5
North America 328 15.8 423 17.7 29.0
Latin America 244 11.8 301 12.6 23.4
Asia-Pacific 461 22.2 549 23.0 19.1
  2,073 100.0 2,388 100.0 15.2

We increased sales in the EMEA region (excluding Germany) by 8.9% in the first quarter of 2012 to €699 million. Adjusted for portfolio effects and minor currency effects, sales edged up by 0.2% from the previous year. The portfolio effects mainly related to the Keltan EPDM business, which we acquired in May 2011. The Performance Polymers segment supported the operational development with sales growth in the high single digits, though this increase was almost entirely offset by sales declines in the Performance Chemicals and Advanced Intermediates segments. The principal drivers of this region’s adjusted growth were the Netherlands, Russia, Belgium and Poland, with sales receding mainly in Italy and Switzerland.

With a 29.3% share of total sales against 31.0% in the same quarter a year ago, EMEA (excluding Germany) remains the largest of the LANXESS Group’s regions in terms of sales.

In Germany, our first-quarter sales advanced by 4.5% to €416 million. Adjusted for portfolio effects, mostly from the Keltan EPDM business, sales rose by 0.5%. The Performance Polymers segment drove this development, with business up by a high single-digit percentage. Sales declines in the Advanced Intermediates segment and especially in the Performance Chemicals segment had an offsetting effect.

Germany’s share of Group sales came to 17.4% for the quarter, against 19.2% for the same period a year ago.

The Group’s sales development in the first quarter of 2012 was driven by the North America region, where business expanded by 29.0% to €423 million. After adjustment for exchange rate and portfolio effects, sales still advanced by a clear 15.5%. The Performance Polymers segment powered this increase, too, with a double-digit growth rate and a substantial increase in absolute terms. The Advanced Intermediates segment also grew sales by a double-digit percentage compared to the prior-year period. In the Performance Chemicals segment, growth rates were in the mid-single digits. Business in the United States determined the region’s performance.

LANXESS generated 17.7% of first-quarter sales in this region, compared to 15.8% in the same period of last year.

In Latin America, sales in the first quarter of 2012 climbed by 23.4% to €301 million. Adjusted for currency and portfolio effects, business advanced by 13.2%. This growth was due to the very positive development of the Performance Polymers segment in absolute terms, which was reflected in a double-digit sales increase. The Advanced Intermediates segment showed even higher percentage growth, but the increase in absolute terms was much smaller than for Performance Polymers. Sales in the Performance Chemicals segment drew nearly level with the prior-year period. Brazil was the key country in the region in terms of the absolute sales increase.

The region’s share of Group sales came to 12.6% for the quarter, against 11.8% for the same period a year ago.

We lifted first-quarter sales in the Asia-Pacific region by 19.1% to €549 million. After adjustment for currency and portfolio effects, sales grew by 6.8%. Performance Polymers drove this development in both absolute and relative terms, with growth well into double digits. The performance of the Advanced Intermediates segment nearly matched the previous year, with growth in the low single digits, while the Performance Chemicals segment registered a sales decline in the high single digits. Singapore, China and Thailand accounted for a major share of this region’s operational growth, while business in Hong Kong showed a slight decline.

Asia-Pacific’s share of Group sales rose to 23.0% for the quarter, from 22.2% a year earlier.