Sales of the LANXESS Group in the first quarter of 2014 amounted to €2,043 million, down €52 million or 2.5% from the prior-year period. The increase in volumes, which led to a 6.8% rise in sales, nearly offset the drop in selling prices. A slight positive portfolio effect from the acquisitions made in the previous year was overcompensated by adverse exchange rate developments. Adjusted for the 2.1% negative balance of these currency and portfolio effects, sales showed a slight 0.4% decline based on prices and volumes.
Our Performance Polymers segment noted a 6.3% decline in sales against the prior-year quarter. This significantly affected the Group’s business performance. The decline was attributable both to lower selling prices resulting from decreases in certain raw material prices and to the persistently challenging competitive situation. Volumes expanded overall, though against a weak prior-year quarter. Business was additionally hampered by the slightly negative development of exchange rates.
Sales in the Advanced Intermediates segment declined by 3.2%. Continuing good demand for agrochemicals led to a positive effect from higher volumes that was more than offset by lower selling prices. These were mainly attributable to decreases in raw material costs, which led to adjustments in selling prices. Exchange rate developments also had a slight negative effect.
Our Performance Chemicals segment, by contrast, grew sales by 5.8%. Selling prices were flat with the prior-year quarter, while volumes expanded. In the European market, good demand for products used in the construction industry had a particularly positive effect. Minor portfolio contributions from the acquisitions made in the previous year, whose activities were assigned to the Material Protection Products and Functional Chemicals business units, only partially offset the negative impact of exchange rate developments.
|Sales by Segment|
|€ million||Q1 2013||Q1 2014||Change %||Proportion of Group sales %|
LANXESS slightly raised sales in the Germany and North America regions, while sales declined in the other regions. Nearly all regions were significantly impacted by the development of the Performance Polymers segment.