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 adjustments of the pro-
cesses 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 ac-
tion options are evaluated and discussed so that we can optimally
exploit future opportunities. Finally, possible oppor-
tunities 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 Asia,
the Americas, 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 development,
or if there was an increase in 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 and sustainable 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. Furthermore,
customers could demand innovative products manu-
factured and sold by us more quickly and to a greater extent
than we had expected. The same applies if we entered
new markets or opened up new application fields for our
Business Combinations and Portfolio Measures
Acquisitions play a key role in ALTANA’s long-term value creation.
In recent years, we have continually advanced the
Group strategically due to acquisitions. At the same time, we
cleansed our portfolio of those activities that did not develop
in line with our strategic objectives and did not promise
to create value for the Group in the long term.
In the future, we intend to continue to boost our growth
by acquiring businesses and activities. This is an essential
prerequisite for us to achieve our strategic growth targets.
Should opportunities arise in the future that exceed our
84 Expected Developments