Business areas

In the following, we comment on our organic sales performance.

Adhesives for Consumers, Craftsmen and Building

Our Adhesives for Consumers, Craftsmen and Building business recorded a solid increase in sales, with above-average growth in the construction industry. The highest regional growth rates were generated in our emerging markets, particularly the Eastern Europe and Africa/Middle East regions. In mature markets, growth in sales of adhesives and sealants for household and professional applications in North America was particularly gratifying.

Industrial Adhesives

Following strong performance in 2011, our Packaging, Consumer Goods and Construction Adhesives business once again showed increased sales in 2012. All of our regions, with the exception of Western Europe, contributed to this solid business performance. Effective August 1, 2012, we acquired the product range of high-performance pressure sensitive adhesives from the US specialty chemicals company Cytec Industries Inc. These products give special adhesive properties to foils and films, adhesive tape and labels. This acquisition strengthens our expertise in the field of high-performance adhesives.

We posted our highest sales increase in the Transport and Metal business. As the markets steadily recovered, our business in Asia grew very strongly, with sales reaching double-digit growth rates. Sales growth was also in the double-digit range in North America, where we launched new high-performance adhesives that support the trend toward lightweight construction in the automotive and aircraft industries.

Our General Industry business recorded a solid increase in sales versus the prior year. Sales only declined in Western Europe, due to negative economic conditions. Our emerging markets posted particularly strong growth rates. We strengthened our portfolio of innovative solutions by adding new adhesive formulations with a broader range of application and improved health and safety ratings.

Despite continued difficult market conditions, we were able to maintain our level of sales for the Electronics business as in the previous year. A major factor in this performance was the ongoing alignment of our portfolio toward innovative, high-growth applications, such as new customer solutions in the field of mobile communications, or LED-based lighting systems.