“The high growth markets now account for more than 50 percent of our business’ overall revenue”
We once again achieved record earnings, driven by continued revenue growth, margin improvements and cost control. Most of our revenue growth came from Asia, boosted by last year’s acquisition of Schramm Holding AG and the coatings activities of Korean company SSCP.
This was the first full reporting year with the acquired Schramm and SSCP activities and the combined business outperformed its revenue targets, strengthened by the continued success of the Korean electronics industry. We are now supplying coatings for Samsung’s Galaxy series of smartphones and have become global market leader in supplying products for mobile phones and tablet devices. Our Specialty Finishes business therefore had a strong year in Asia, as did Packaging Coatings with our market-leading retortable coatings, while our Coil Coatings activities performed particularly well in high growth markets such as Russia, Turkey and India. The high growth markets now account for more than 50 percent of our business’ overall revenue. North America held up reasonably well during the year, but Europe was somewhat slower, due mainly to a sluggish automotive sector and less activity in the construction industry. We kept a tight control on costs and stepped up our efforts to introduce manufacturing efficiencies at sites around the world.
Several investments were made during the year as we looked to make further progress with our strategic growth ambitions. We expanded our resin capacity in Songjiang, China, with two new reactor lines and strengthened our research capability at the site’s RD&I center. This will enable us to better meet local market needs as we develop specific technology for the Chinese mid-market. Expansions also took place at our Ansan and Jinyoung sites in Korea, where we develop and manufacture innovative products for the country’s rapidly growing electronics industry. We also invested in our Thane facility in India to establish local manufacturing for packaging coatings, with a specific focus on coatings for food, caps and closures and the general line market in India. Safety also remained a priority during the year, while more than 140 operational eco-efficiency improvement projects are in progress across our sites.
We gained approvals from the major can makers and key brand owners for our next generation packaging coatings technology. We also developed new inks for two-piece metal cans that have a unique capability to consistently match very bright colors. This was the latest innovation to stem from the integration of the Lindgens Metal Decorating Coatings and Inks business, which we acquired in 2010. Another exciting new product is GreenCoat, a coil coating topcoat made with a bio-based solvent which is a derivative of rapeseed oil. The product was developed through a partnership with SSAB and the Federation of Swedish Farmers and several successful commercial trials have already taken place. One notable product launch which took place in 2012 was for our Evcote range of grease and moisture barrier coatings. It is used on packaging such as paper cups, French fry cartons and freezer bags and, because the technology is based on recycled PET, it means the packaging can be recycled or composted. The product was introduced on fast food packaging at the London Olympics.
Geo-mix revenue by destination