Group Management Report Products Safety and Health Environment Human Resources Social Commitment Consolidated Financial Statements 65
vious year, and relative AVA fell from 1.4 % to 0.8 % in
The slight improvement in value management key figures
forecast for 2019 could not be achieved due to the
weaker earnings performance.
Overall Assessment of Our Business
Performance and Business Situation
In the course of 2019, the macroeconomic framework deteriorated
increasingly, leading to a decline in demand, particularly in
the automotive industry and in the important sales market China.
As a result, we were not able to achieve our sales and earnings
targets in 2019. However, the effects of the sales decrease on
the earnings situation were largely offset by the early introduction
of comprehensive countermeasures on the cost side, so that
profitability was within our strategic target range. At the same
time, we continued to press ahead with our strategic activities
to develop medium- to long-term growth areas and with the digital
Our balance sheet continued to show a very solid structure
at the end of 2019 and offers sufficient financial headroom for
investments in sustainable profitable growth.