The performance of Pulp and Paper Chemicals ended the year strongly with revenue increasing by 7 percent despite adverse transactional currency effects. Demand strength was driven by Bleaching Chemicals and the Specialty Products portfolio, while volumes softened in the Paper Chemicals business. The increase was supported by most businesses and regions, especially Americas and Asia Pacific. The overall performance was significantly affected by transactional currency impacts as well as raw material price increases. However, margin management initiatives remained strong with price increases to counter these impacts, as well as a favorable regional/product mix, contributing to an overall strengthening in margins across all businesses. Prices on raw materials rose considerably during the first half of the year, impacting Paper Chemicals more than the Bleaching products. However, the last quarter saw prices leveling out and even decreasing in certain regions. Cost control measures remained strong, despite the unfavorable currency impacts due to cost base in Sweden.
Volumes in Q4 increased by 2 percent over last year. Project activities in Brazil and our most recent investment in China supported the development, contributing to a robust conclusion of the year. Currency impact was also less adverse than in previous quarters, with favorable prices and decreasing raw material costs leading to a strong final quarter.