Leverkusen, Germany — Sales at Bayer MaterialScience dropped 3.1% to EUR 2.8m ($3.8m) during the third quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2012.
Chief executive Marijn Dekkers said the figure was higher than that achieved in the year’s second quarter and put the growth down to higher sales volumes in the North America and Europe.
However, pointing to what he described as a “difficult market environment,” he said lower prices across Europe had been offset by price rises in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
Polyurethanes business rose by 4.1% and sales of raw materials rose by 0.8%, according to a company statement.
Frank Grunert, regional head of polyurethanes in the EMEA and LATAM regions, said a 5% annual global market growth rate could continue for the medium and long term future.
“The global factors strongly contributing to this growth include increasing urbanization and mobility, worldwide measures for saving energy and the economic growth driven by rising living standards, mainly in threshold countries.
“It also corresponds to Bayer MaterialScience´s expectations that the PU market is undergoing structural changes, a trend that has continued in 2013. This is not the least due to new world scale economics in production capacities, players preparing to enter the market and to changes in regional demand,” he said.
“In our view, growth of the PU market will also in future be driven by those trends. Another growth factor is the substitution of other material classes driven by unique properties and a superior performance of polyurethanes, for example in building insulation.
“There is no doubt that profitability and return on capital will remain a key challenge for the PU industry. Future success and competitiveness in the PU business will continue to be predominantly based on innovations leading to new business options and cost-efficient technologies providing a competitive advantage.
“We are convinced that with our superior production technologies and innovation capabilities, Bayer MaterialScience is well positioned in the competitive environment – today and, of course, in the future,” added Grunert.
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