Specialty Chemicals – Overview
- Full-year revenue down 1 percent due to better volumes and price/mix more than offset by divestments and adverse currency effects
- Q4 volumes were affected by interruptions in the manufacturing and supply chain in Rotterdam
- Full-year operating income was up 22 percent (excluding the incidental items of €121 million in 2013). Full-year ROS was 10.4 percent
- Lower restructuring costs and the results of operational excellence programs, as well as previous restructuring measures, increased profitability for the business
Specialty Chemicals increased profitability in 2014, with improved volumes and significant savings from restructuring programs. This was despite price pressure in caustic, unfavorable currency developments (especially during the first half of the year) and interruptions in the manufacturing and supply chain in Rotterdam during Q4. The year started strongly in Europe but slowed down in Q3, with economic uncertainty and political situations tempering consumer confidence. The US gained momentum during the year after a slow start. China presented a mixed and volatile picture, with reduced growth rates in the second half.
Q4 revenue was in line with the previous year, with the adverse impact of volumes and divestments being offset by a favorable currency effect due to the strengthening of the US dollar. The adverse volume impact was caused by the Rotterdam interruptions and market reactions following the large oil price reduction, leading to destocking.