FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany—Covestro A.G. has entered a new world that's curious, courageous and colorful.
Those are the three core values adopted by the new firm, which came into existence Sept. 1 when Bayer A.G. spun off its Bayer MaterialScience unit into a separate company. The new firm is a major global supplier of polycarbonate, polyurethane and other specialty materials.
“We like this focus, and we like the arena we work in,” CEO Patrick Thomas said at an Oct. 15 news event at Fakuma 2015. “There's not another polymer that we want to go out and add to our portfolio.”
Leverkusen, Germany-based Covestro generates 47 percent of its sales from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America; 26 percent from North America and 15 percent from China.
Automotive is the new firm's largest end market with a 22 percent share. That's closely followed by construction at 19 percent and furniture at 18 percent. Covestro employs 14,200 worldwide and posted sales of $13.2 billion in 2014.
Covestro officials are confident of a rebound in the PC market, which has struggled in recent years. That struggle was due in part to a major reduction in the optical media market, which included compact discs and DVDs.
Global PC demand is set to grow at a 4.6 percent annual rate between 2014-20, officials said, driven by global needs for lower-emission vehicles, food preservation and affordable housing. PC margins currently are at trough levels, but are on an upward trajectory because of increasing utilization rates, according to Rainer Rettig, who heads commercial PC operations in the Europe/Middle East/Africa/Latin America region.
Many PC makers stopped adding capacity during the recession, leading to expected annual capacity growth of only 1.9 percent from 2014-20. But Covestro continued to add capacity and as a result is well-positioned, officials said.
“We're getting into an interesting phase where (PC) demand is catching up with supply,” Thomas added.