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Main challenges

Raw materials proved increasingly costly during the first few months of the year. We also faced a considerable increase in energy costs, notably in the Nordic countries and the US. But due to a more balanced chlorate market, we managed to restore eroded margins by introducing certain price increases. We have also been working hard to generate our own energy cost savings. For example, our Permascand business has been contributing to enhanced productivity in our chlorate production by getting more capacity out of the cells and effectively reducing the consumption of electricity. In Canada, we have invested in an energy saving project in cooperation with our electricity supplier, and we’re engaged in research projects and a state/industry energy saving program in Sweden.

Other developments

It was a notable year for two of our product lines. Sales of our Purate process technology for water treatment as a biocide in the paper-making process more than doubled, while our Expancel line of expandable microspheres began to find more applications in paper manufacturing. For example, the product is being used in insulating paper which is laid under wooden flooring, where it acts as a dampener to reduce noise.

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