“Our company is in good shape,” said Oschmann, CEO and chairman of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA. “Although 2017 is posing some challenges, we are absolutely confident that we will achieve our overarching objectives for 2018. We intend to advance our Healthcare pipeline further, complete the integration of Sigma-Aldrich into Life Science, and secure our technological leadership in Performance Materials for the long term. We will continue to reduce the Group’s acquisition-related debt level as planned.”
The Performance Materials business sector is currently facing challenges in its Liquid Crystals business. Particularly in the business with established liquid crystal technologies, Merck KGaA is seeing the continued normalization of its above-average market shares amid ongoing price pressure.
Merck KGaA has also taken targeted steps to strategically develop its Performance Materials business further. Performance Materials has four pillars, with the Liquid Crystals business now accounting for less than 50% of the business sector’s sales.
The Integrated Circuit Materials business unit supplies products to manufacture integrated circuits and microelectronic systems, as well as the former SAFC-Hitech business of Sigma-Aldrich with deposition materials and conductive pastes for semiconductor packaging. In pearlescent pigments and functional additives, Merck KGaA presented application possibilities for these products in automotive coatings at the International Motor Show. Products from the Pigments & Functional Materials business unit are also used in cosmetics and food. The Advanced Technologies business unit encompasses the OLED materials business.