Group Management Report Products Safety and Health Environment Human Resources Social Commitment Consolidated Financial Statements 65
close cooperation with dp polar GmbH, in which ALTANA
holds a stake, this ink portfolio is used in development
partnerships with customers to provide efficient and sustainable
solutions through innovative polar printing technology.
In addition to polar printing technology, the ink portfolio was
expanded to include inks for SLA (stereolithography printing),
a standard process in the 3D printing industry. These
products were presented to the market for the first time
at Formnext, the leading international trade fair for additive
manufacturing technologies, in 2021.
The laser transfer technology platform Heliosonic also
made progress. It expanded its pigment portfolio and was
thus able to enter into more strategic development partnerships
beyond the graphic arts industry. This year, further
feasibility studies were carried out in the security printing and
electronics sectors. In addition, the design and construction
of a roll-to-roll printing machine was completed and went into
operation at the newly occupied site in Rüsselsheim.
Thanks to the close cooperation between the central
departments Corporate Innovation and Corporate Venturing,
ALTANA can continuously examine technology and market
potential and enter new attractive markets by means of targeted
investments in innovative technology companies.
In this context, ALTANA again increased its investment in the
company TAU ACT GmbH, Berlin, in the 2021 fiscal year.
The basis for our innovative strength is an open and
dynamic corporate culture that gives the 1,221 employees
in our worldwide research and development centers freedom
for creative and entrepreneurial action. The equipment
in our development centers enables our employees to turn
their ideas into market-ready solutions. In 2021, our research
and development expenses increased to € 179.7 million,
compared to € 163.4 million in the previous year. We fell
slightly short of the budgeted figure for 2021 due to ongoing
pandemic-related uncertainties. The reduced share of
sales accounted for by research and development expenses
of 6.7 % (previous year: 7.5 %) is due in particular to the ex-
traordinary increase in sales. In general, our expenditures
are related to the achievement of important milestones, the
implementation of individual customer requirements in
future innovative products, and the long-term orientation of
our innovation activities.
At the end of 2021, the companies of the ALTANA Group employed
6,731 people worldwide (previous year: 6,529).
The increase of 202 persons or 3 % compared to the previous
year is due on the one hand to acquisitions in the ECKART
(+ 36 employees) and ACTEGA (+ 12 employees) divisions, and
on the other to increased personnel requirements to cover
the increased demand (especially in the BYK division).
In the BYK division, the number of employees rose by
113 to 2,420 (previous year: 2,307). The workforce mainly
increased in production areas of the BYK companies in
Germany and the U.S. due to the sharp rise in production
In the ECKART division, staff numbers increased by 41 to
1,735 in the course of 2021 (previous year: 1,694). The
changes mainly concerned production and are almost exclusively
attributable to the acquisition of the business activ-
ities of TLS Technik GmbH & Co. Spezialpulver KG in Bitterfeld.
ELANTAS recorded a slight decline of 10 employees
to 1,061 (previous year: 1,071). Most of this decrease concerns
employees in administrative areas.
In the ACTEGA division, staff numbers rose by 46 to
1,284 in the course of the year (previous year: 1,238). One
driver was the acquisition of the Henkel company’s closure
materials business, which led to an increase of 12 employees.
In addition, staff were added in sales and administrative
areas, mainly in the field of information technology.
In the Group’s holding companies, the headcount rose
by 12 to 231 in the past fiscal year (prior year: 219). The