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Performance Polymers

Performance Polymers
           
  Q1 2012 Q1 2013 Change
  € million Margin % € million Margin % %
           
Sales 1,391   1,134   (18.5)
EBITDA pre exceptionals 255 18.3 112 9.9 (56.1)
EBITDA 254 18.3 112 9.9 (55.9)
Operating result (EBIT) pre exceptionals 207 14.9 52 4.6 (74.9)
Operating result (EBIT) 206 14.8 52 4.6 (74.8)
Cash outflows for capital expenditures 1) 63   58   (7.9)
Depreciation and amortization 48   60   25.0
Employees as of March 31 (previous year: as of Dec. 31) 5,348   5,388   0.7
1) Intangible assets and property, plant and equipment

Business development in our Performance Polymers segment in the first three months of 2013 was well below the high level of the prior-year period. Sales decreased by 18.5% to €1,134 million against the same period of 2012. The lower raw material prices and selling price adjustments diminished sales by 10.7%. In addition, volumes decreased by 7.5% due to lower demand. A further factor was a slightly negative currency effect of 0.6%.

Volumes in the Butyl Rubber and Performance Butadiene Rubbers business units, which have close ties to tire production and thus to the replacement tire and original equipment manufacturer markets, receded in the first three months of 2013 against a strong prior-year quarter. This was due to sharply lower demand from the automobile and tire industries, especially in Europe. Furthermore, decreasing raw material prices resulted in lower selling prices. By contrast, the High Performance Materials business unit, which has particularly close ties to the automotive and electrical/electronics industries, recorded an increase in volumes, especially due to the development of compounding activities in Latin America, North America and Asia. The continually weak demand in Europe and Asia along with customers’ inventory reductions had a negative effect on volumes in the Keltan Elastomers business unit. The drop in raw material prices led to an adjustment of selling prices in the High Performance Elastomers business unit as well. In addition, volumes were below the level of the prior-year quarter, particularly for nitrile rubber (NBR). Sales of the segment as a whole receded in all regions.

EBITDA pre exceptionals in the Performance Polymers segment fell by a substantial €143 million to €112 million. The lower selling prices in all business units had a particularly negative impact, which was not fully offset by the drop in raw material costs. Capacity utilization was below the level of the prior-year quarter, due especially to the decline in demand and to scheduled production shutdowns. The segment also incurred start-up costs for the new butyl rubber plant in Singapore and costs for conversion to the new ACE technology in the Keltan Elastomers business unit. The EBITDA margin came in at 9.9% for the first quarter, against 18.3% a year ago.

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