Performance Polymers

Performance Polymers
  Q1 2013 Q1 2014 Change
  € million Margin% € million Margin% %
Sales 1,134   1,063   (6.3)
EBITDA pre exceptionals 112 9.9 117 11.0 4.5
EBITDA 112 9.9 108 10.2 (3.6)
Operating result (EBIT) pre exceptionals 52 4.6 61 5.7 17.3
Operating result (EBIT) 52 4.6 52 4.9 0.0
Cash outflows for capital expenditures 58   76   31.0
Depreciation and amortization 60   56   (6.7)
Employees as of March 31
(previous year: as of Dec. 31)
5,379   5,251   (2.4)

Sales in our Performance Polymers segment declined by 6.3% in the first three months of 2014, to €1,063 million. Development was significantly impacted by a negative price effect of 11.9% that resulted from a persistently difficult market environment and low purchase prices for raw materials. In addition there was a negative currency effect of 2.2%. Volumes, however, had a 7.8% positive effect.

All business units in this segment were impacted by declining market prices, whereas volumes developed positively in nearly all business units. In the Performance Butadiene Rubbers business unit, volumes for standard rubbers declined in the first three months of 2014. Shifts in exchange rates had an adverse effect in all of the segment’s business units. Business volume in the segment developed encouragingly in Germany and North America, while sales decreased in all other regions.

EBITDA pre exceptionals in the Performance Polymers segment rose by €5 million to €117 million. The challenging competitive situation led to a drop in selling prices that more than offset the cost relief resulting from the lower purchase prices for raw materials. These lower raw material prices also contributed to the fall in selling prices. Earnings were buoyed by the positive development of volumes and by lower manufacturing costs. There were no major currency or portfolio effects at the segment level. The EBITDA margin came in at 11.0% for the first quarter, against 9.9% for the prior-year period.

The exceptional items of €9 million for the segment fully impacted EBITDA. They mainly resulted from measures within the Advance program.