25 June 2001 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Bayer AG has announced that it will invest $6 billion to expand the company's share of sales in the Asia-Pacific region from 16 percent to 25 percent by 2010. This year, Bayer hopes to top its record-setting 2000 sales of $4.6 billion, and numbers for the first quarter of 2001 are up 13 percent over the same period a year earlier.
Earlier this month, Bayer AG board member Werner Spinner made clear that Asia-Pacific was a "prime engine" for the company. "Growth in 2000 was particularly strong in the Greater China area," Mr. Spinner said, "where we recorded 43 percent higher turnover in terms of the euro. Japan and Korea grew very fast, too, achieving a total increase of 38 percent in sales. Southeast Asia and India advanced by 31 and 29 percent respectively, and Australia/New Zealand recorded a plus in revenue of 11 percent above the previous year."
After declaring Bayer's new goal of pushing Asia-Pacific sales to 25 percent of its global sales, Mr. Spinner outlined past and future investments. Between 1996 and 2008, Bayer anticipates it will have spent over $4 billion to bolster its production base in Southeast Asia and China. In Thailand, Bayer will put $750 million into its Map Ta Phut site in Rayong Province by 2005, most of which will go toward expanding facilities for the production of high-end plastics, and the completion of a 350,000-ton-per-year polycarbonate plant on the site.
In China, Bayer will follow its first-phase investment of $300 million with $3.1 billion in new projects to establish the country as a major international base for world-scale polymer production. In Japan, Bayer will have committed $2 billion to the research and development of pharmaceutical and agrochemical compounds between 1994 and 2010.
In a management change, Michael Portoff would succeed Knut Kleedehn as president of Bayer Ltd., Japan, Head of Country Group Japan and Korea on July 1.
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