Annual Report 2023

Performance Materials

Performance Materials key data
















4th quarter 2022


4th quarter 2023









Sales (external)


€1,916 million


€1,588 million




€9,095 million


€6,876 million



Intersegment sales


€644 million


€488 million




€2,967 million


€2,194 million



Sales (total)


€2,560 million


€2,076 million




€12,062 million


€9,070 million



Change in sales (external)

































































Sales by region (external)















€785 million


€674 million




€4,152 million


€3,021 million





€516 million


€414 million




€2,447 million


€1,844 million





€615 million


€500 million




€2,496 million


€2,011 million





(€89 million)


€16 million




€951 million


€576 million





(€600 million)


(€126 million)




(€28 million)


€9 million



Cash flows from operating activities


€563 million


€169 million




€1,091 million


€652 million



Cash outflows for additions to property, plant, equipment and intangible assets


€187 million


€190 million




€547 million


€490 million



Free operating cash flow


€376 million


(€21 million)




€544 million


€162 million




EBITDA and EBIT include the effect on earnings of intersegment sales.

Sales in the Performance Materials segment were down 24.4% to €6,876 million in fiscal 2023 (previous year: €9,095 million). The decline was due to a 15.7% drop in the selling price level and a 6.7% decrease in volumes sold, both attributable to weak demand worldwide, as well as to negative changes in exchange rates of 2.0%.

The EMLA region’s sales decreased 27.2% to €3,021 million (previous year: €4,152 million), driven by a lower selling price level and a decline in sales volumes, both of which had a significant reducing effect on sales. Exchange rate movements had no notable effect on sales. The NA region’s sales dropped by 24.6% to €1,844 million (previous year: €2,447 million), principally because of a considerable decline in average selling prices. In addition, the volumes sold and exchange rate movements had a slightly diminishing effect on sales. The APAC region’s sales decreased 19.4% to €2,011 million (previous year: €2,496 million), due especially to a lower selling price level and changes in exchange rates, both of which had a significant reducing effect on sales. At the same time, a decline in volumes sold had a modest sales-reducing impact.

Performance Materials Quarterly sales

€ million

Performance Materials Quarterly sales (bar chart)

Performance Materials Quarterly EBITDA

€ million

Performance Materials Quarterly EBITDA (bar chart)

EBITDA in the Performance Materials segment fell by 39.4% over the previous year to €576 million (previous year: €951 million). This was mainly driven by reduced margins as a result of the weak demand situation, as lower raw material and energy prices were unable to offset the decline in selling prices. Other factors reducing earnings were a decline in volumes sold, higher provisions for short-term variable compensation, and exchange rate movements. This was offset by lower fixed costs and the recognition of insurance compensation for production stoppages, which had a neutral effect at the Group level; both factors benefited the Performance Materials segment’s earnings.

EBIT rose to €9 million (previous year: €–28 million), mainly because of lower impairment losses of €2 million (previous year: €387 million), which more than offset a decline in EBITDA.

Free operating cash flow was down 70.2% to €162 million (previous year: €544 million), mainly because of lower EBITDA and a decline in funds freed up from working capital. The change in working capital was mainly due to changes in trade accounts receivable and the payment in the previous year of short-term variable compensation relating to fiscal 2021. No short-term variable compensation was paid for fiscal 2022.

Comprises all countries in the Asia and Pacific region.
EBIT/Earnings Before Interest and Taxes
Income after income taxes plus financial result and income tax expense.
EBITDA/Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization
EBIT plus depreciation and amortization of property, plant, equipment, and intangible assets.
Comprises all countries in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America (excluding Mexico), and Africa.
FOCF/Free Operating Cash Flow
Operating cash flows (pursuant to IAS 7) less cash outflows for additions to property, plant, equipment and intangible assets.
NA/North America
Region comprising Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

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