Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM continues on its steady path to growth with the announcement today that operating profit for 2002 reached €383 million, a 14 per cent rise on 2001, thanks in part to 6 per cent autonomous volume growth and effective cost control.
DSM's profit on ordinary activities after taxation was €349 million, down 5 per cent on 2001 (€369 million) and net profit reached €1,188 million, compared with €1,415 million in 2001. In both years profits were affected by the sale of DSM Petrochemicals (2002) and Energie Beheer Nederland (2001).
Commenting on the results, DSM managing board chairman Peter Elverding said: "Despite the difficult conditions we faced in our main markets, our operating profit on ongoing activities in 2002 was 14 per cent higher than in 2001. Although our profitability still needs to improve further, we are not dissatisfied with the results we have achieved under these difficult economic conditions."
Concerning the outlook for 2003, Elverding adopted a guarded approach.
"The unusual combination of geopolitical and economic uncertainties and uncertain trading conditions in our end-use markets impels us to be cautious. It seems unlikely that an improvement will occur before the second half of 2003.
Therefore, I do not want to make any forecast at present about the development of our results in 2003. However, DSM is so well-positioned that we will benefit from a recovery of market conditions the moment it occurs."
DSM, bringing in a turnover of €6 billion, is currently working under its ambitious 'Vision 2005: Focus and Value' strategy that is aiming to carry the company to a turnover level of €10 billion by 2005. About 80 per cent of the turnover is expected to come from specialities such as high-quality biotech and chemical products and materials.