Chemical Specialties – FoamPartner and
Polyurethane foams and print finishing.
The Chemical Specialties segment (FoamPartner and Schmid Rhyner) generated net revenue of CHF 181.4 million (previous year: CHF 202.8 million). On a comparable basis, net revenue declined by 9.3%. Revenue in all market segments and regions was down on the previous year. Market conditions in the Asian and European automotive business were especially challenging. As expected, the realignment of the business in the USA following the sale of the joint venture there in 2017 also contributed to the decline in revenue. The operating result amounted to CHF 8.6 million (CHF 9.2 million), yielding an EBIT margin of 4.8% (4.6%). Thanks to significantly lower raw material costs compared with the previous year and internal improvements in earnings, the FoamPartner business unit was able to well compensate the adverse effects of the market-related decline in revenue in the automotive business. By contrast, raw material costs in the Schmid Rhyner business unit were still notably higher than in the previous year, which, coupled with an unfavorable trend in the product mix, weighed on the operating result compared with the strong previous-year period.
In the FoamPartner business unit, following the takeover of Otto Bock Kunststoff and the streamlining of the joint venture structures in Asia and America, multi-layered measures are being implemented to realize the medium-term margin potential. These include the optimization of business processes, modernization of management systems and the investment program to improve production infrastructure in Europe, to which end construction work has begun on a new converting center at the Duderstadt site in Germany. In “Mobility”, the largest market segment, the new OBoSky® products for vehicle interiors based on patented prepolymer technology have received their first certifications from leading automobile manufacturers. The product family combines high-quality surfaces for vehicle roof lining with the lowest emission values. In close cooperation with the OEMs, work is also under way on acoustically effective and thermo-insulating solutions for electric mobility. In the “Living & Care” and “Specialties” market segments, product and growth initiatives in Asia and America are also being systematically pursued.
In the “Coatings” market segment of the Schmid Rhyner business unit, a cooperation agreement to commercialize digital varnish technology was concluded with a market-leading industrial partner. Efforts were also made to develop environmentally compatible coatings by using sustainable raw materials or as a substitute for hard-to-recycle laminates.
Head: Michael Riedel
Presence: worldwide sales network in 54 countries; 14 production, processing and sales locations in Europe, Asia/Pacific and America
Overview Schmid Rhyner
Head: Jakob Rohner
Presence: worldwide sales network in over 100 countries; 1 production site in Adliswil (Switzerland); 2 subsidiaries in Adliswil (Switzerland) and New Jersey (USA)