Friday, May 6, 2016

What Is Met by Performance in Business Segment Titles?

Several chemical companies use the word performance in one, or more, of their business segment titles found in annual reports.  This blog provides information and some analysis on the use of “performance” in these reporting segment titles.

The following identify companies that use “performance” in one, or more, of their reporting segment titles, the title used, and a brief synopsis of what business is represented by the segment:

BASF.   Performance Products.  Chemicals that improve the properties of a product or a process to which they are added.

Dow.  Performance Materials & Chemicals.  Products that serve customers in a large number of industries including appliance, construction, and industrial.  The products are additive solutions for the customers’ products and services.

Dow.  Performance Plastics.   Plastic/polymer products are marketed on the basis of their performance characteristics and applications.

DuPont.  Performance Materials.  Materials are polymers and performance pertains to the polymer characteristics.

AkzoNobel.  Performance Coatings.  Coatings that are used to protect the surface and/or enhance the surfaces’ performance.

Evonik Industries.  Performance Materials.  Materials are polymers and performance pertains to the polymer characteristics.

PPG Industries.  Performance Coatings.  Performance is used to indicate the chemical is intended to perform special protective and/or surface enhancing characteristics.

Solvay.  Performance Chemicals.  Refers to chemicals that are needed by various industries and sold in large volumes.

DSM.  Performance Materials.  Materials with advanced, better performing properties that DSM has developed and feel are unique and therefore are capable of capturing market share  and higher margins.

Huntsman.  Performance Products.  Chemicals for use in various industries for enhancing those users' products and/or processes.

Laxness.  Performance Chemicals.  Chemicals use in various industries for enhancing those industries’ products and/or processes.

Laxness.  High Performance Materials.  Pertains to polymers/plastics with high performance characteristics.

Sasol.   Performance Chemicals.  Includes specialty chemicals and also commodity chemicals sold into many industries to enhance those industries’ products and/or processes.

Arkema.  High Performance Materials.  Includes both performance additives and polymers with certain performance characteristics.

Based on the above information, the term performance used in reporting segment descriptions in annual reports usually refer to one of the following:  1) additives (specialty chemicals) that enhance the performance of products or processes; 2) polymers that have certain performance characteristics; and 3) a chemical/product, other than a polymer, that is separately used (not an additive) because of its performance, such as a protective coating.   A couple of companies, Solvay and DSM, use performance in the segment title description with an economic implication, e.g. the products sold have excellent sales performance.

With these different ways in which “performance” is used to describe what is being sold (the segment's business), one should be careful to understand the company’s meaning of the word performance.

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