The regional sales were exceptional considering that the GDP is predicted to rise only 2.2 percent this year, up from 1.3 percent last year, according to the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The pricing efforts in all three business units supported this positive sales development. From a regional perspective, growth was most prominent in Latin America and Asia,” the third-quarter filing said. Plastics and coatings represent over 40 percent of the company’s total sales.
To drive future sales and profitability in plastics and coatings, the company plans to pursue the “development of functional excellence in pricing and increased capacity utilization, and supply chain optimization: improved reliability for customers, digitally enhanced offering and ensuring a sustainable product range.”
Clariant has been investing steadily in the region, and in Mexico in particular. In January, the company completed a two-year expansion of its Coatzacoalcos facility by 15 percent with an investment in the low double-digit million CHF range.
At the time of the Coatzacoalcos completion, Fernando Hernandez, the country head of Clariant Mexico, added: “We have a strong presence in Mexico, with production plants, laboratories and sales offices located in…Santa Clara, Mexico State, in Puebla in Puebla State, and in Coatzacoalcos in Vera Cruz State…which provides solutions to multiple industries and we continuously invest in new technologies to better meet the needs of our customers.”
In late 2016, Clariant opened a new production plant for water-based pigment preparations in Mexico. The new plant, located in Santa Clara, doubled Clariant’s Mexico annual production capacity for water-based pigment preparations and enhances its ability to serve customers across North and Latin America, the company reported.
The Santa Clara capacity increase for water-based pigment preparations was undertaken to enable Clariant to improve its support for the regions’ current and emerging market segments including decorative coatings, non-impact and flexo printing, industrial coatings, and specialties like home care, personal care and stationery, the company said.
To complement the Santa Clara capacity increase, Clariant also planned to start a new plant for solvent-based pigment preparations at the same site later that year to produce high milling demand products for the U.S. specialties market.
At the time of the Santa Clara expansion, Michael Grosskopf, the head of the pigments business unit said: “The new production plant in Santa Clara further improves access to growth markets in North, Central and South America. The new lines for water-based and solvent-based pigment preparations represent an important next step to extend the value we can create for our customers based on our strong formulation and dispersing know-how for many applications, our globally active technical service and vast production network. The strategic location in Mexico allows us to better tailor our offering to specific customer and application needs.”