Quarterly Statement Third Quarter 2023

Solutions & Specialties

Solutions & Specialties key data
















3rd quarter 2022


3rd quarter 2023




1st nine months 2022


1st nine months 2023



Sales (external)


€2,196 million


€1,809 million




€6,583 million


€5,564 million



Intersegment sales


€11 million


€6 million




€28 million


€21 million



Sales (total)


€2,207 million


€1,815 million




€6,611 million


€5,585 million



Change in sales (external)

































































Sales by region (external)















€798 million


€653 million




€2,522 million


€2,144 million





€543 million


€461 million




€1,607 million


€1,433 million





€855 million


€695 million




€2,454 million


€1,987 million





€280 million


€246 million




€717 million


€632 million





€207 million


€178 million




€498 million


€390 million



Cash flows from operating activities2


€142 million


€247 million




(€42 million)


€447 million



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


€77 million


€62 million




€178 million


€160 million



Free operating cash flow2


€65 million


€185 million




(€220 million)


€287 million




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


An imputed tax rate of 25% has been used since the Annual Report 2022 to calculate income taxes paid by the reportable segments; see note 4 “Segment and Regional Reporting” in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in the Annual Report 2022. The tax rate for the reference value has not changed.

In the Solutions & Specialties segment, third-quarter sales in 2023 were down 17.6% to €1,809 million (previous year: €2,196 million). This was primarily driven by an 8.9% decline in average selling prices – due in particular to weak demand worldwide. At the same time, exchange rate movements and lower volumes sold had a reducing effect on sales of 5.0% and 3.7% respectively.

The EMLA region’s sales decreased 18.2% to €653 million (previous year: €798 million), driven by a significant decline in sales volumes and considerably lower average selling prices. Exchange rate movements had no notable effect on sales. In the NA region, sales were down 15.1% to 461 million (previous year: €543 million), mainly on account of a considerable drop in the selling price level. At the same time, exchange rate movements and lower volumes sold each had a minor reducing effect on sales. Sales in the APAC region declined by 18.7% to 695 million (previous year: €855 million), The main drivers of this development were exchange rate movements and lower average selling prices, each of which had a considerable negative effect on sales. Changes in volumes sold had no notable effect on sales.

In the third quarter of 2023, EBITDA in the Solutions & Specialties segment was down 12.1% on the prior-year quarter, declining to €246 million (previous year: €280 million). This was mainly attributable to the change in provisions for short-term variable compensation and exchange rate movements. Other factors contributing to the reduction in EBITDA were a decline in volumes sold and a lower amount of business development subsidies received in China attributable to the segment compared with the prior-year quarter. In contrast, lower fixed costs had an increasing effect on earnings. The margins had no notable impact on earnings, since the demand-induced decrease in selling prices was almost fully offset by lower raw material and energy costs.

In the third quarter of 2023, EBIT decreased by 14.0% to €178 million (previous year: €207 million).

Free operating cash flow improved in the third quarter of 2023 to €185 million (previous year: €65 million). This was driven primarily by funds freed up from working capital, compared with funds tied up in the prior-year quarter. This effect is largely due to the change in inventories. In addition, a decline in cash outflows for property, plant and equipment and intangible assets had a positive effect on free operating cash flow. Lower EBITDA, on the other hand, had a negative effect on free operating cash flow.

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.