For the full-year, EBITDA totaled €1,768 million, 8 percent lower than in 2008, with the EBITDA margin at 12.7 percent (2008: 12.5 percent). In Q4, EBITDA was €396 million, 4 percent higher than in 2008 (€381 million), due to continued margin management and cost reduction programs.
In Decorative Paints, Europe achieved a mixed performance, while North America continued to be strongly impacted by a further decline in the US paint market and investments in advertising and promotion costs from the Glidden relaunch. Latin America and Asia delivered an increasingly strong performance during the year, with Q4 starting to outperform the relatively weak final quarter of 2008.
It was an excellent year for Performance Coatings. Despite lower revenue, EBITDA improved by 4 percent for the year. Marine and Protective Coatings and Packaging Coatings performed well in 2009 despite lower volumes in Marine. The EBITDA margin for the year increased to 14.5 percent (2008: 12.4 percent).
For the full-year, EBITDA for Specialty Chemicals decreased by 10 percent, mainly due to the net high input costs for National Starch during the first half of the year. Industrial Chemicals’ performance was below 2008 levels due to the drop in demand for chlorine and caustic. The EBITDA margin for the full-year was 15.6 percent (2008: 16.0 percent).