Group Management Report Products Safety and Health Environment Human Resources Social Commitment Consolidated Financial Statements 79
The local financial statements are recorded and consolidated
via standardized formats and processes in a central IT system.
At the divisional and holding company levels numerous
manual and IT-assisted control mechanisms are applied.
They encompass an analysis and a plausibility examination of
the registered data and the consolidated results by Group
accounting as well as by the controlling department and other
departments with expertise in this area. Required corrections
of the information in the financial statements are generally
made at the level of the individual company to ensure
the data are uniform and are transferred.
The company auditor and the Group auditor examine
issues, processes, and control systems relevant for the gen-
eration of financial statements. The Group auditor reports on
the audit directly to the Supervisory Board and the Audit
Committee. In certain cases, audits are carried out by the central
Internal Audit department.
After each process related to the preparation of the
financial statements, optimization potential identified at the
different levels is analyzed and necessary adjustments of
the processes are made.
The identification and evaluation of opportunities for our
future business development is integrated into the different
planning, analysis, and control processes.
Within the framework of strategic planning, we analyze
demand trends as well as market and technology developments
with regard to options for action that could enable
ALTANA to create value. In addition, the divisions contin-
ually examine possibilities of developing new sales markets.
During the financial-planning process, the effects of action
options are evaluated and discussed so that we can optimally
exploit future opportunities. Finally, possible opportunities
for short-term business development, along with the attendant
risks, are dealt with in detail at all levels of management.
Below, major opportunities are described that could lead
to ALTANA’s surpassing its short-, medium-, or long-term
goals. The order corresponds to our assessment of the effects
on our business performance.
Economic and Industry Development
Should the economic environment in the established industrial
regions important for ALTANA, particularly in the U.S.,
China, and Europe, develop better than we anticipated, unexpected
growth impetus could arise. As a result, demand
for our products and services could develop more positively
and exceed our forecast. The same applies to growth in
the important emerging countries in Asia and South America.
If the growth rates in these nations were higher than expected,
we might be able to benefit from this to a disproportionately
high extent due to our market positions.
In addition to regional factors, growth impetus can also
result from individual branches of industry. Further poten-
tial could be opened up, in particular, if the automotive sector
and the construction industry showed a positive devel-
opment, or if there was a trend reversal concerning the use
of silver and gray colors in the consumer sector.
We have to continually streamline our product and service
portfolio to be able to continue to pursue our strategy for
profitable growth in the long term. Should ALTANA manage
to enhance its innovativeness more quickly than expected
or to increase its share of new products for which there is a
high demand beyond the target level, there would be even
better prospects for growth. The same applies if we entered
new markets or opened up new application fields for our