Coatings and Composites reported overall strong sales growth, mainly in the electronics, marine anti-fouling, shale, oil & gas and plastics market segments.
New, innovative products in the electronics market, as well as ship maintenance and repair, especially in China, Japan, Southeast Asia and Europe, had a positive impact on the business. This growth was driven by an overall market rebound compared with prior year and by additional sales with key global customers. These two factors had a positive impact in driving higher sales and reflected our solid long-term relationships with industry-leading customers.
The launch of our new methylisothiazolinone- (MIT-) free preservatives in Europe continued to draw strong customer interest, with commercial approvals ramping up into 2018.
Lonza Wood Protection delivered another good performance in 2017 despite facing the challenges of a highly competitive market environment. Within the Wood Protection business, engineered wood preservation and mold-control offerings saw particularly strong growth, and efforts have been ongoing to further optimize performance within these markets.
Other highlights in 2017 include the increased market penetration of unique Lonza biocides used to combat mold in polyurethane foam applications. Newly introduced products for shale, oil and gas were adopted in the marketplace. We also experienced strong sales growth in the U.S. market for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). Also regulatory approval of Lonza’s Omadine® product offerings for the leather market in Mexico in 2017 set the stage for market penetration in 2018.