LANXESS: Asia strategy strengthened4 May 2006
The LANXESS chemicals group is increasingly backing profitable growth in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. 'This year alone we will start up three new LANXESS production sites in China', said Dr. Axel Heitmann, Chairman of the Management Board of LANXESS AG. 'This will enable us to significantly increase our profitable growth in China', declared Heitmann today at an international press conference at ChinaPlas 2006. ChinaPlas in Shanghai is the biggest plastics trade show in Asia. The Asia Pacific region is of central importance for LANXESS. The company achieved growth of 21% here in 2005, compared with 15.8% in 2004. Sales grew strongest in the segments of Performance Rubber, with an increase of almost 30% and Engineering Plastics with an increase of more than 26%. The Performance Chemicals segment boosted business by nearly 13% and Chemicals Intermediates raised sales by more than 8%. In China alone the company increased its sales by almost 50% compared with the previous year. In India, LANXESS achieved growth of 14%. 'This significant development was made possible through the commissioning of new and additional production plants. That's why LANXESS investment in Asia doubled last year', stated Heitmann. 'This development will continue in 2006'. Last month, LANXESS doubled its production capacity for polymer-bound chemicals with the opening of a new plant at the Qingdao site. This means that LANXESS can supply almost 5,000 metric tons of the profitable Rhenogran product line to the Asia Pacific market. To push its expansion plans in Asia forward, LANXESS will employ up to 1,000 new people in the region over the next three years. 'Roughly two thirds will be needed for our projects in China alone', said Heitmann. LANXESS currently employs about 1,900 people in Asia. In 2005 Asia Pacific's share of LANXESS's total sales was around 17 %.