We continue to see growth opportunities in all segments in our business in both mature and high growth markets. To capture these opportunities, we continue to invest in both organic growth and acquisitions. Some examples include:

  • 2011 was a year in which our Decorative Paints business continued to build on its relationship with Walmart in the US and strengthened its long-standing partnership with Canadian retailer RONA (see case study Up close and personal)
  • We are also investing in growth in Decorative Paints by developing a consistent brand identity and approach. This allows us to leverage our scale across geographic boundaries and brands (see case study Building the brand)
  • In 2011, we continued to build our business organically through capacity expansions in high growth markets in Specialty Chemicals. This includes new capacity in our Functional Chemicals business in Bermocoll and organic peroxides in Ningbo, and in our Pulp and Paper Chemicals business in Brazil (see case study Building on our expertise)
  • Two bolt-on acquisitions completed in 2011 both demonstrate the breadth of growth opportunities in our markets. Firstly, we acquired coatings manufacturer Schramm Holding AG and the coatings activities operated by its largest shareholder, Korean company SSCP, to augment our position in specialty plastic coatings, with a particular emphasis on consumer electronics in Asia and other high growth markets (see case study Taking the lead). We also announced the acquisition of Boxing Oleochemicals in China to help build our position in Surface Chemistry, with particular emphasis on serving the growing Chinese mid-market (see case study Achieving our growth ambitions)
  • To facilitate growth in all segments in high growth regions, we have put in place new country and regional management structures. Specifically, we have appointed senior executives as Country Directors to lead the business in delivering revenue growth in the strategically important countries of Brazil, China and India. In addition, we have appointed a Middle East Regional Director with full profit and loss responsibility, with the objective of building our position

It is important to note that, regardless of the part of the world in which we are investing, we utilize the same standards for health, safety and the environment (HSE), as well as business principles, compliance and control. Furthermore, when we evaluate growth opportunities, we do so from a balanced perspective in terms of evaluating growth and synergy potential, as well as the impact on our portfolio in terms of eco-efficiency levels.

We also prioritize projects that have both market and sustainability impact. With this in mind, during 2011 we announced the conversion of our Frankfurt chlor-alkali plant to the use of membrane technology, which will allow us to improve our leadership positions in Europe in terms of the caustic lye and chloromethanes markets, while improving our environmental footprint.

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