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Bayer says MaterialScience division here to stay

By: By Anthony Clark
PLASTICS & RUBBER WEEKLY

March 1, 2013

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY — Marijn Dekkers, chairman of Bayer AG, confirmed at the company's financial results conference that its MaterialScience division will remain part of the firm's portfolio.

He told his audience that there are efficiency programs in place that will help improve the division's overall performance and increase its profit margin.

"Sales of this subgroup rose by 3 percent compared with 2011 to 11.5 billion euros ($14.9 billion)," Dekkers said. "[Profit] before special items increased by nearly 7 percent to 1.3 billion euros ($1.68 billion). Overall, earnings at MaterialScience were hampered by the rise in raw material and energy costs, which we were unable to pass on in full to our customers."

For 2013 MaterialScience is planning a slight increase in sales on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis to around 12 billion euros ($15.6 billion). The division is also expected to achieve a volume-driven expansion beyond the growth rate of the global economy.

Bayer intends to implement efficiency measures to help offset commoditization of the business, the company said. Those efforts "should contribute 1.5 percentage points to the [profit] margin before special items by 2015," the company said.