Higher environmental standards and regulation of supplier operations in developing AND developed countries have also led to higher operating and purchasing costs, which the industry downstream has been forced to absorb. In particular, prices for key intermediates for the pigment industry, of which many are produced in China and India, rose significantly in cost due to the above reasons.
Finally, several supplier-related shortages (“force majeure”) during the course of the year have exerted additional upwards pressure on cost. These are just two of many developments pointing to raw material cost pressure in Q4 of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 for our print media division.
We at Siegwerk continue to counter cost increases with several internal measures while working on joint product optimization and performance improvement projects with its customers and suppliers to keep cost in check. However, these efficiency improvements have only partially closed the gaps which had opened over the last years. Also, implemented price increases at our customers only partially managed to offset these cost increases.
For the packaging business, the expectations for the same time frame remain rather mixed, from stable prices to upward cost pressure for defined raw materials. Overall, material prices remain stubbornly over 2010 levels, therefore our Packaging division continues to work on mitigation of these cost developments.
Regardless of the further cost development, product performance, consistent quality, product safety, technical guidance and support will continue to be guaranteed and remain focus points of our value strategy towards its customers.
We will continue to keep our customers informed about all further raw material cost developments.”