Bratislava/Leverkusen – The specialty chemicals group LANXESS AG is responding to rapidly growing demand in central and eastern Europe by today officially opening the headquarters of its new distribution company LANXESS Central Eastern Europe s.r.o. in the Slovakian capital Bratislava. LANXESS will control all of its business activities in Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary from the new site. The company will also maintain offices in Warsaw, Poland, and Budapest, Hungary.
“We expect growth in these countries to outstrip that of western Europe in the years ahead, so we've decided to tap this potential for LANXESS by setting up our own company,” explains Rainier van Roessel, member of the LANXESS AG Board of Management.
In 2006, the company achieved portfolio-adjusted sales in excess of EUR 130 million in the four countries. Poland accounted for the greatest share of this with 41 percent, followed by the Czech Republic (31 percent), Hungary (15 percent) and Slovakia (13 percent). In the first nine months of last year, LANXESS recorded total sales growth in the four countries of 4 percent over the same period in the previous year.
Particularly strong demand for special-purpose rubbers and high-tech plastics
All 13 LANXESS business units are active in the four countries. One of the key areas of operation is high-performance rubbers and rubber chemicals. “We supply our rubber specialties mainly to national and international tire manufacturers, more and more of whom are expanding their production capacities in central and eastern Europe,” explains Flemming B. Bjoernslev, Managing Director of LANXESS Central Eastern Europe.
Another cornerstone of the company’s operations is high-tech plastics. Around half of the sales of these products in the four countries are generated by customers from the automotive industry. “Our high-performance plastics open up new possibilities for car manufacturers to develop safe, ecological solutions,” says Bjoernslev. LANXESS plastics are an integral part of the car bodywork, for example, helping to make cars safer and more lightweight and thereby reducing fuel consumption.
There is also strong demand in central and eastern Europe for inorganic pigments from LANXESS. These are used primarily in the construction industry to pigment concrete parts, paving stones and roofing tiles.
Bratislava is the ideal location
A crucial factor in the decision to choose Bratislava as the headquarters of LANXESS Central Eastern Europe was its central location. “Bratislava offers us just the right conditions to succeed. From here, we can control our activities efficiently and effectively throughout the entire region,” says Bjoernslev.
LANXESS has initially recruited some 40 new staff for the new distribution company. Around 20 of these will be based in Bratislava, while the others will work in the branches and the field service. Up to now, LANXESS organized its operations in central and eastern Europe through external distribution agencies.
LANXESS is a leader in specialty chemicals with 2006 sales of EUR 6.94 billion and around 14,500 employees in 21 countries. The company is represented at 47 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacture and sale of specialty chemicals, plastics, rubber and intermediates.
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