The wintry conditions and encouraging demand for chemical transformation salt resulted in excellent salt volumes during the first quarter. The high production levels subsequently stimulated energy sales. Chlorine and caustic lye volumes lagged behind due to soft demand and interruptions at our Rotterdam cluster. Total volume was up 16 percent. However, as a result of price developments, revenue was 5 percent above the previous year.
Despite the negative price effect, margins held up well, driven by favorable results for energy and positive mix effects. In addition, continued attention on cost control contributed to the good performance. The integration of LII has been successfully completed. The construction and start-up of the expansion projects in China are progressing well, with the official opening of our Taixing MCA plant extension in early April.