“It was a year of strong recovery and business growth in all regions, with volume, turnover and EBITDA all significantly above 2009.”
It was a year of strong recovery and business growth in all regions, with volume, turnover and EBITDA all significantly above 2009. However, our margin improvements were countered by increasing raw material prices in all regions and we experienced issues with the supply of certain raw materials.
Our Packaging Coatings business returned to above pre-recessionary levels after outgrowing its markets, mainly in Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and South East Asia. Our Specialty Plastics and Coil Coatings activities didn’t quite reach pre-crisis status, but the underlying trend has been a significant bounce-back in many of our mature markets – coil coatings in Europe and North America – where there has been restocking and a restart of construction activity. We saw patches of very strong growth in the BRIC countries and upcoming markets in EMEA, such as Turkey and Russia, where our coil coatings sales increased significantly.
As a new business unit formed at the beginning of 2010, we were very pleased to announce the acquisition of Lindgens Metal Decorating Coatings and Inks. The deal brings us an experienced team and the ability to serve customers with a more complete range of inks. It also gives us an improved position in high growth areas of EMEA (Turkey, Russia and Tunisia) and in the Asia Pacific region, notably Australia. In keeping with the company’s growth ambitions, we continued to invest during 2010, consolidating our position in coil coatings gained through our Petrokom acquisition in Lipetsk, Russia; investing in extended production capacity at our Bangalore site in India for coil coatings and specialty plastics; and further improving our capabilities at our research center in Songjiang, China. Sales of our “soft touch” technology continued to increase on the back of strong growth in high-end smart phones. These coatings give both the tactile and aesthetic feel that consumers are looking for in such devices. We also launched Vitalure 740 in Brazil, a product line which consists of an interior coating and side seam stripe for paint cans. The can liner protects the steel can from corrosion by the paint and extends the “best by” date by 50 percent. In the US, our Cool Chemistry line of coil coatings continued to see strong sales, mainly due to the federal tax credit, favoring energy efficient building projects.
We took over the EvCote technology from the company’s Specialty Chemicals operation. It’s a resin system based on recycled PET and materials from renewable bio-sources and is now part of our Packaging Coatings activities. The technology can provide moisture resistance and oil and grease barriers to paper goods used in food contact, such as fast food restaurant packing for sausages, sandwiches and French fries. We have also set out to develop a much simpler alternative process and eco-premium solution for applying an attractive metal finish to computers and laptops. The current manufacturing process is facing some environmental pressure and is relatively burdensome. We can create the same “anodizing” effect using a special thin film developed in our laboratories, which is cleaner and more efficient. We’ve also been able to call on several techniques that we have learned from supplying similar products to the automotive industry. Our customers are very pleased with this process simplification and we believe that we can now provide a number of new variants to help our customers develop this even further.
Revenue in € millions
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