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Specialty Chemicals – Overview


  • Full-year revenue increased 13 percent
  • Broad demand improvement in both mature and high growth markets
  • Performance improvement in all business units
  • Full-year EBITDA increased 27 percent
  • National Starch divestment completed
  • Ningbo China site commissioned

A broad recovery in demand, combined with the success of our strategic growth platforms, led to a volume increase across nearly all business lines in our Specialty Chemicals portfolio. In particular, volumes in the Americas and Asia returned to pre-crisis levels. Revenue increased 13 percent for the year, driven by the volume improvement, stable pricing and favorable currency effects. As a result of cost structure reductions implemented in 2009 and our cost containment actions in 2010, cost growth was limited this year, largely driven by improved volume and strategic investments. Consequently, the conversion of incremental margin to EBITDA was exceptionally strong. Improved volume, firm margins and limited cost growth resulted in an EBITDA growth of 27 percent to €939 million for 2010, where the positive currency impact was 8 percent. With the National Starch divestment having been completed and our Ningbo site in China operational, the Specialty Chemicals business area was even better positioned at the close of the year.

While Q4 EBITDA was €221 million, 17 percent above the strong comparative of last year (in constant currencies 9 percent), margins in the quarter were slightly lower at 17.6 percent. Industrial Chemicals did not book any major result from secondary use of caverns and Surface Chemistry was impacted by shortages in raw materials in their personal care business.

Revenue development 2010

Specialty Chemicals – Revenue development 2010 (bar chart)

Revenue development Q4 2010

Specialty Chemicals – Revenue development Q4 2010 (bar chart)
Specialty Chemicals – Brands (logos)
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