Sales of the LANXESS Group in the second quarter of 2014 amounted to €2,019 million, down €122 million or 5.7% from the prior-year period. This was mainly attributable to the 4.6% negative effect of lower selling prices. While volume growth had a 1.8% positive effect on sales, this was more than offset by the adverse development of exchange rates and slightly negative portfolio effects. Adjusted for the aggregate currency and portfolio effect of minus 2.9%, operational sales showed a 2.8% decline.
Sales in the first six months of 2014 receded by 4.1% to €4,062 million. Adjusted for negative currency effects of 2.5%, the LANXESS Group posted an operational decrease in sales of 1.6% in the first half. As in the quarter, this was attributable to lower selling prices, which were partly offset by higher volumes.
Sales in the Performance Polymers segment registered a 12.1% year-on-year decline for the quarter and a 9.2% decline for the first half, thus significantly impacting the Group’s business development. The drop in sales at Performance Polymers was due to a decline in selling prices caused by lower purchase prices for some raw materials and to a persistently challenging competitive situation. Volumes for the second quarter were also below the prior-year period, due in part to the strike in Belgium. An increase in volumes was achieved for the first half against the same period of last year. Added to the negative currency effects was a modest negative portfolio effect from the sale of the shares of Perlon-Monofil GmbH, Dormagen, Germany.
Sales in our Advanced Intermediates segment rose in the second quarter by 2.5%, while for the first half they were level year on year (minus 0.5%). Lower purchase prices for raw materials were passed along to the market through selling price adjustments. Volumes, however, exceeded the prior-period level, mainly due to the good demand for agrochemicals and products from the integrated aromatics network. The development of exchange rates had a slightly negative effect.
Our Performance Chemicals segment recorded a 1.4% year-on-year increase in second-quarter sales and a 3.5% gain for the first half. Sales volumes moved higher, while selling prices were flat with the previous year. Minor positive portfolio effects from the acquisitions of PCTS Specialty Chemicals Pte. Ltd., Singapore, and the phosphorus chemicals business of Thermphos France S.A.R.L., Epierre, France, were more than offset by negative currency effects.
|Sales by Segment|
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LANXESS sales in the Germany region edged forward in both the second quarter and the first half, while business in the other regions declined. This development was driven by the Performance Polymers segment in terms of both absolute and relative sales performance.