"In 2020, we rolled out a new global strategy that sees Nouryon deepening its footprint in global markets in four market segments: agriculture, buildings & infrastructure, cleaning goods and personal care."
Could you introduce Nouryon?
Nouryon has been a standalone, privately-owned company since 2018, but our history goes back 400 years ago to the founding of the Bofors forge in Sweden. Nouryon provides essential chemistry for everyday products in plastics, paper, cleaning, oil and gas, personal care, agriculture, food, construction, building and infrastructure. We have a unique portfolio with leading positions in key markets and solid financials. In the last 12 months, we brought innovative, sustainable new solutions to market in a timely way and continued investing in our people, infrastructure and production capacity expansions; we have been hiring more than 100 people in APAC since last year and we are building a new application lab in Dubai, adding to our technical application lab infrastructure in China, Singapore and India.
Could you give our audience a sense of Nouryon’s global footprint, and the importance of emerging markets, especially in APAC, for the overall business?
Nouryon is present in over 80 countries, with more than 7,900 people globally. More than 1,600 of our team are in APAC. We have eight production facilities in Greater China, one in Singapore, two JVs in Japan, as well as one fully owned facility and one JV in India.
What are some upcoming milestones?
Since 2017, we have announced 25 plant start-ups and investments, some of which are in APAC. We invested €90 million to increase organic peroxides capacity in Tianjin, China, as well as announcing added capacities at our Ningbo facility to produce two key intermediates for our organic peroxides business. In addition, Nouryon is operating the largest MCA plant in India, as part of a JV with Atul. These projects are due to come live in 2021, despite the slowdowns caused by COVID-19.
Nouryon recently published its 2020 financial results. Could you comment on the company’s performance and how is this informing your strategy forward?
Nouryon increased its profit in its full-year 2020 financial results with continued commitment to customers and disciplined cost management. Overall demand remained robust in many of Nouryon’s key end markets, such as agriculture and home care, with reduced volumes in some markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full-year 2020 revenue was €4.7 billion, decreased by 4% due to lower prices and volumes, while adjusted EBITDA increased by 3% to €1,162 million. In APAC, we achieved solid growth with increased profits. We will continue to focus on strategic capital investments tailored to the needs of our customers, operational excellence and innovative solutions, to support the sustainable development of chemical industry in the region.
What does Nouryon’s new company strategy involve?
In 2020, we rolled out a new global strategy that sees Nouryon deepening its footprint in global markets in four market segments: agriculture, buildings & infrastructure, cleaning goods and personal care. These are segments with significant growth potential, underscored by high population growth, continuous urbanization, and the growing focus on hygiene, home and personal care. Within this strategy, Nouryon seeks to transition from a supplier of ingredients to a solution provider and take a market-based approach that identifies how best to find solutions in the key segments mentioned. From an inorganic standpoint, we always look for bolt-on acquisitions that help us deliver better and faster to our customers.
Could you share Nouryon’s sustainability targets?
As part of our commitment to a sustainable future, we set out to reduce carbon emissions by 25% between 2020 and 2025, and increase our share of low carbon and renewable energy sources to 60% by 2025. Since 2009, we have already brought down our carbon emissions by 29%. In recognition of our efforts on sustainability, we are proud to have received a gold rating of EcoVadis in 2021.
Sustainability goals crucially drive our product innovation too. Innovation is about providing customers not only with better-performing products but also with more sustainable products. Over 700 people work across our seven key R&D labs around the world and we invest more than €100 million annually in our R&D programs.