Surface Chemistry performed well compared to 2010 with revenue growing by 12 percent due to higher sales prices, mainly driven by raw material price increases. All geographic regions contributed to the improvement, which occurred in most market sectors. Plant utilization was high and ran at full capacity, resulting in the products being sold out for the majority of the year. Our industrial markets performed strongly, especially in agrochemicals and mining, while high oil prices contributed to stronger demand for oilfield chemicals. The consumer-related markets, however, experienced some softening this year. Margins were squeezed as raw material prices escalated during the year and exhibited significant volatility during Q3, however, they stabilized during the last quarter of the year. Currency impacts were significant due to a weaker US dollar, impacting our margins and the stronger Swedish krona, impacting our cost base in those countries. The Boxing Oleochemicals acquisition in China recently received government approval, which will contribute to strengthening the company’s position in specialty surfactants within the region and provide a manufacturing base in China. Margin management and effective cost control delivered a strong performance for the year.
Revenue in Q4 increased by 10 percent compared to last year, mainly driven by price increases in all regions. However, volume was slightly below last year. Traditionally the business is seasonal and it experienced the normal trend for this time of year, with some of the larger Personal Care customers reducing stocks during the quarter.