Group Management Report Products Safety and Health Environment Human Resources Social Commitment Consolidated Financial Statements 57
the acquisition of Swiss Schmid Rhyner AG in February
2020 and the acquisition of Henkel’s closure materials business
in May 2021. Adjusted for acquisition and currency
effects, ACTEGA achieved operating growth of 15 % in 2021.
Both the increase in sales volume and price adjustments
and positive product mix effects contributed to this result.
All three of the ACTEGA division’s business lines generated
growth in 2021 compared to the previous year. Similar
to 2020, strong sales growth was achieved above all
in the food packaging sector, in which all three business lines
are active. Individually, the Paper & Board business line increased
operating sales by 14 % compared to the previous
year. Sales in the Flexible Packaging business line also continued
to increase year-on-year in the low double-digit range.
The Metal Packaging Solutions business line recorded the
most significant increase in sales, mainly due to the acquisition
of Henkel’s closure materials business. However, even
excluding the new acquisition, operating sales were clearly
above the previous year’s level with significant double-digit
The development in 2021 was positive across all regions.
In Europe, the largest region, growth in operating terms
lagged behind that of the other regions, but was well into
double digits. Germany, the largest single market in
Europe, recorded solid single-digit growth in operating terms.
Most other countries in the region even achieved double-
digit growth rates. In the Americas, nominal and operating
sales were well above the level of the previous
year. In the
USA, the largest single market, moderate operating growth
in the single-digit range was achieved. In Brazil, operating
sales increased by 28 %. Asia, still the smallest region, also
recorded double-digit sales growth last year – both in
nominal and operating terms. The drivers of this positive development
were China, with an operating sales increase
of more than 40 %, and India, with sales up by 30 %.
In an environment characterized by exceptionally high
demand dynamics and, at the same time, enormous price
increases, shortages, and disrupted global supply chains,
ALTANA successfully continued its strategy of sustained profitable
growth, achieving its highest earnings before inter-
est, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) to date.
Compared to the previous year, EBITDA increased by 13 %
or € 55.8 million to € 481.7 million (previous year: € 426.0
million). Adjusted for acquisition and exchange-rate effects,
operating growth amounted to 14 %. At 18.1 %, the EBITDA
margin was below the previous year’s figure of 19.6 %
due to the substantial increase in purchase costs, but within
our strategic target range of 18 % to 20 %. The price adjustments
made to compensate in particular for the increases
in material costs played a major role in securing the earnings
The historically high volume growth resulted in an
absolute EBITDA figure far surpassing our expectations for
2021 and an EBITDA margin in line with our forecast.
The most important cost parameter for ALTANA, variable
raw-material and packaging costs, developed negatively
compared to the previous year due to a strong overall increase
in raw-material prices. The material usage ratio, the ratio
of these costs to sales, increased steadily over the course of
2021 from 41.9 % in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 48.2 %
in the fourth quarter of 2021. For 2021 as a whole, the material
usage ratio was 45.4 %, significantly higher than
the prior-year figure of 41.3 % and also higher than we had
forecast at the beginning of the year. The increase in the
cost of materials affected all four divisions.
In 2021, other cost items developed mainly in line with
the positive business performance, high capacity utilization
and – due to the high level of demand in the overall economy
– the increase in energy and logistics costs in particular.