It is safe to say that we face a wealth of growth opportunities in all parts of our business using our existing value propositions and business models. This is true in both mature markets and high growth markets.
- In mature markets, there is still considerable room for organic growth and even market share gain. A perfect example of this is our deal with Walmart in the US to become their primary paint supplier. A portfolio of interior and exterior paints has been developed which will be available in more than 3,500 Walmart stores nationwide. The agreement builds on our existing relationship with Walmart, for paints in Puerto Rico and Canada, and with Liquid Nails adhesives in the United States..
There is also room for industry consolidation. A good example of this was our acquisition of the former Rohm & Haas powder coatings activities from the Dow Chemical Company, which has significantly strengthened our global leadership in this market. Building this strong leadership position is important because powder coatings have an excellent sustainability profile, with lower water use and no VOC emissions.
- The growth picture is even brighter in the high growth markets of Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. We experienced strong top line growth in these markets in 2010, but even more encouragingly, also strong growth in market share and absolute EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization).
This growth is based largely on strong domestic growth in these markets. Capitalizing on the strong domestic growth potential in China was the main reason behind our major investment (€275 million) in our multi-site facility in Ningbo ().
In 2011, our plan is to continue to grow through a combination of organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions in all parts of our business. In essence, our major challenge is to prioritize and ensure we constantly modulate our growth program to respond to somewhat uncertain market conditions. Doing this should allow us to move forward on our accelerated growth ambition, while still delivering appropriate levels of cash in the business.