Impressive results were delivered during the quarter, driven by more favorable conditions. Volumes experienced a 20 percent rebound versus Q1 2009 and were even above pre-recession levels in some segments. The season (typically tied to construction and agriculture related segments) picked up after the Chinese New Year and was further supported by shipments related to production outages or delayed start-ups at our competitors. Despite some pressure on prices – which was offset by favorable currency developments – overall revenue jumped 18 percent versus last year.
Although prices increased for most raw materials, margin management and close scrutiny of fixed costs impacted the bottom line performance. Last year’s cost reduction initiatives continued to deliver and the synergies from the merger of the former Polymer Chemical activities are materializing.