The performance of our Functional Chemicals business was consistently strong throughout 2010. Broad recovery in our end-use markets, combined with geographic expansion initiatives (China) and commercial momentum in our key growth platforms (Chelates and High Polymers) resulted in a 14 percent increase in volume for the year. Revenue increased a corresponding 23 percent, driven by the volume increase, improved pricing and a favorable currency effect. Real growth, effective margin management and cost containment actions all contributed to a significantly improved bottom line for the business in 2010. In addition, the merger of the Polymer business unit was completed as planned.
The fourth quarter showed strong results, with the traditional December slowdown being much less pronounced than the previous year. Demand remained high in many product lines and supply picked up, but the overall supply/demand balance remained favorable, which lead to a positive development of margins. The High Polymer business has seen extraordinary growth. Through fast capacity increases, we were able to capitalize on strong demand increases for LEDs in screen and lighting. On November 8, 2010, we celebrated the opening of our Ningbo production site and are now close to bringing all initial plants to full operation. During 2010, we also announced additional investment in the Ningbo site with the construction of a new organic peroxides plant.