“As well as helping to strengthen our operations in the US, integrating the former Rohm & Haas activities has also given us access to key technologies.”
Finalizing the acquisition of the former Rohm & Haas powder coatings activities from Dow Chemical Company – which saw us become market leader in the US – had a major bearing on our 2010 performance. For example, volumes improved significantly and our revenue was boosted to record levels. We also strengthened our existing leadership positions in Asia, Europe and Africa during the year.
The market continued to pick up, and while the mature economies did not rebound as quickly as some of the high growth regions, we grew significantly, notably in the US. We continued to expand in Asia – highlighted by the opening of a new plant in Wuhan in October – while major growth was also achieved in Russia. We are the only international powder coatings manufacturer in Russia and demand was very strong during the year. As well as helping to strengthen our operations in the US, integrating the former Rohm & Haas activities has also given us access to key technologies which have enabled us to better penetrate certain markets. For example, we secured major approvals in the agricultural construction equipment sector and are now better placed to accelerate into the wood, plastics and automotive segments, which are the next platforms for future growth.
Major construction activity is continuing in Felling in the UK, where we are establishing a resin polymer lab. This is due to open in April 2011 and will play a crucial role in helping us to innovate and further develop sustainable technologies. We reached agreements to take over our joint venture partners in Dubai, Mexico and Vietnam, which will help us to become further established in those regions. In Mexico, we are also building a new factory in Monterrey which will start up in July 2011. One excellent example of our intention to accelerate into new markets came in Asia, where as part of a joint development project, we produced the first vehicle in China with a powder-coated exterior body. We are also working with other manufacturers around the world to gain further experience of applying powder to vehicle exteriors. Another exciting segment where we made good progress was in providing coating solutions for laptops, including a soft-touch effect.
Integrating the former Rohm & Haas activities dominated much of the year. The acquisition has truly delivered on the strategic objectives we had for the deal – to help us consolidate our position as the number one powder coatings manufacturer in the world; to significantly strengthen our operations in the US; and to maintain innovation and technology leadership in the industry. Exchanging best practices also brought in excellent HSE programs, which are being introduced throughout the business, while it was pleasing to receive an internal award for a major safety initiative which we have implemented.
Revenue in € millions
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