Sales in the company's coatings, adhesives, specialties business, which is composed of polyurethane applications fell 15.8% to EUR 495m in the most recent quarter. This compares with EUR 588m in the equivalent period last year.
The decline in sales occurred because the automotive and transport industries called for less material as they recovered from coronavirus lockdowns and depressed demand. Sales were most strongly hit in the US, where numbers were down 22.1% to EUR113m. This was followed by Europe, with a 16.7% sales drop to EUR214m, and Asia where the fall of 9.7% took sales to EUR186m.
EBITDA in the division also fell, but by less than sales at 10.8% to EUR 99m in the third quarter of 2020. This compares with EUR 111m in the equivalent period in 2019.
'The grave consequence of the coronavirus pandemic are having a substantial negative impact on the global economy,' Covestro said in its report. The company said that it thinks that in 2021, the automotive industry will shrink by a double digit percentage. ‘Growth in the furniture industry will be considerably weaker than expected,’ it believes. Electrical, electronic, and household appliances will also all be weaker markets next year.