“We maintained a strong focus on cost control and strengthened our number one position as the world’s leading supplier of wood finishes and wood adhesives.”
It was our first year operating as a stand-alone business unit, focused on the industrial wood industry. We achieved strong double digit revenue growth in 2010 as we emerged from the economic crisis. Although we are not yet back to pre-crisis levels, we maintained a strong focus on cost control and strengthened our number one position as the world’s leading supplier of wood finishes and wood adhesives.
We maintained strong positions in the mature economies, but these markets remained sluggish during 2010, primarily due to the slow recovery of the construction and housing markets. Our growth has come in the high growth regions such as China and Turkey, where the local economies recovered quickly and export volumes in wood finishes increased. Our wood adhesives business also benefitted from increased export activity as a result of the weaker euro. Our strategy of selective bolt-on acquisitions and expansion in high growth regions is delivering results. The strategic acquisitions we finalized in 2009 to support our expansion in Eastern Europe have now been fully integrated and contributed to our overall performance during 2010. However, the price and availability of raw materials continued to challenge our efforts.
It was a year of change for our employees, who adapted quickly to the new focus of our business and worked together to bring about improvements in our results. One of our accomplishments was our improved sales volume in Asia, where we continued our drive into the domestic markets and expanded our customer base. We broke ground on a new plant in Vietnam – our fourth major plant in the region – to support our growth strategy in the Asian export and domestic markets. The new facility will be completed in 2011.
We are excited to be part of the wood industry, which is inherently sustainable. Not only is wood a renewable resource, but trees actually reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, since one cubic meter of wood absorbs about one ton of CO2. Our strategy is to positively contribute to the sustainability of this industry by developing products and technologies that reduce our impact on the environment, while delivering positive performance attributes for our customers. To achieve this we are moving beyond product development to a broader systems approach, including integrated line application and monitoring, waste reduction and yield improvement concepts. Our new automated putty system, for example (see ), transforms poor quality wood into viable wood substrates for flooring, cabinets and furniture. And for our wood adhesives customers, we are working on systems that significantly reduce the volume of glue applied while optimizing performance.
Revenue in € millions
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