Group Management Report Products Safety and Health Environment Human Resources Social Commitment Consolidated Financial Statements 53
Important Events for Business Development
In 2021, non-operating effects at ALTANA influenced the
company’s earnings and financial position as well as its
The ECKART division acquired the business activities of
TLS Technik GmbH & Co. Spezialpulver KG in Bitterfeld,
Germany, on February 1, 2021, thereby expanding its portfolio
in industrial, metal-based 3D printing. Its sales development
was positively influenced by the acquisition, while its
earnings situation was slightly burdened. The ACTEGA division
acquired the Henkel company’s closure materials business
on May 7, 2021, and was thus able to further expand
its business with sealing compounds for the packaging industry.
The acquisition had a positive effect on both sales and
In 2021, the development of the exchange rates between
the euro, the Group currency, and other currencies
important for ALTANA had a negative effect on the sales
development and, to a lesser extent, on the earnings development.
The exchange rate of the euro to the U.S. dollar
had the greatest impact in 2021. At an average of 1.18 U.S.
dollars for one euro, it was higher than in the previous year
(1.14 U.S. dollars for one euro). Further significant negative
effects from changed exchange-rate relations resulted from
the rate of the Japanese yen to the euro, which at 129.88 yen
for one euro was also higher than in the previous year
(121.85 yen for one euro). By contrast, the average exchange
rate of the euro against the Chinese renminbi fell from
7.87 renminbi for one euro to 7.63 renminbi for one euro in
2021, and therefore had a positive impact on sales and
earnings. In addition, differences in exchange rates on the
balance sheet date had a positive influence on balance
sheet items compared to the previous year.
(VCI: 6.0 %). In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, the
industry achieved only slight growth (VCI: 2.0 %). Overall,
according to the ACC, growth in the industry in Western
Europe was slightly below the global average at 5.3 % and
in Eastern Europe (including Russia) slightly above it at 5.9 %.
In the U.S., overall chemical production increased by
only 1.4 %, according to the ACC. Unexpectedly severe winter
conditions in February and other weather-related influences
led to production losses that hit the chemical industry
particularly hard. In Latin America, however, the industry
performed better, with an overall increase of 4.9 %.
According to the ACC, the chemical industry in the Asia-
Pacific region recorded the world’s highest growth in the
2021 fiscal year, at 8.2 %. In keeping with the overall economic
development, China, the largest producer, was also
largely responsible for this development with 8.4 % growth
(VCI). India also achieved strong growth, at 7.7 % (VCI),
and was thus able to offset the high pandemic-related plunge
in production output in 2020. In Japan, on the other
hand, industry growth was much lower (3.7 %), according
to the VCI.
The global increase in demand already seen in the
fourth quarter of 2020 and the subsequent rise in industrial
production became increasingly noticeable in the course of
2021. As a result, the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil rose
continuously in the months from January to July 2021.
From an initial 55 U.S. dollars, the price increased to as much
as 75 U.S. dollars by July 2021. After a slight price correction
in August and September, the price per barrel reached
84 U.S. dollars in October 2021, before falling back to a
level of 74 U.S. dollars at the end of the year. The average
price for the year (71 U.S. dollars) was therefore signifi-
cantly higher than the previous year’s level of 42 U.S. dollars.